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THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 




The MAN 
NOBODY 
KNOWS 


"Discovery of the Jesus 

BRUCE BARTON 



GROSSET & DUNLAP cn. "Publishers 

ty <ifnin0cm<nt wteh The BobbckMetrill Company 




Copyright, 1924, 192S 
By The Bobbs-Merriix Company 


Printed w the t/ndted States of America 



“Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s 
business?’* 




CONTENTS 

Chapter Paoe 

I The Executive 1 

n The Outdooe Man 32 

m The Sociable Man 57 

IV His Method 89 

V His Advertisements 124 

VI The Founder of Modern Business 169 

VII The Master 193 




HOW IT CAME TO BE WRITTEN 


The little boy’s body sat bolt upright in the 
rough wooden chair, but his mind was very busy. 

This was his weekly hour of revolt. 

The kindly lady who could never seem to find 
her glasses would have been terribly shocked if 
she had known what was going on inside the 
little boy’s mind. 

“You must love Jesus,” she said every Sun- 
iday, “and God.” 

The little boy did not say anything. He was 
afraid to say anything; he was almost afraid 
that something would happen to him because 
of the things he thought. 

Love God I Who was always picking on peo- 
ple for having a good time, and sending little 
boys to hell because they couldn’t do better in 
a world which he had made so hard I Why 
didn’t God take some one his own size? 

Love Jesus! The little boy looked up at tihe 



HOW IT CAME TO BE WRITTEN 


picture which hung on the Sunday-school wall. 
It showed a pale young man with flabby fore- 
arms and a sad expression. The young man had 
red whiskers. 

Then the little boy looked across to the other 
wall. There was Daniel, good old Daniel, 
standing off the lions. The little boy liked 
Daniel. He liked David, too, with the trusty 
sling that landed a stone square on the forehead 
of Goliath. And Moses, with his rod and his 
big brass snake. They were winners — ^those 
three. He wondered if David could whip Jeff- 
ries. Samson could! Say, that would have been 
a fight! 

But Jesus! Jesus was the “lamb of God.” 
The little boy did not know what that meant, 
but it sounded like Mary’s little lamb. Some- 
thing for girls — sissified. Jesus was also “meek 
and lowly,” a “man of sorrows and acquainted 
with grief.” He went around for three years 
telling people not to do things. 

Sunday was Jesus’ day; it was wrong to feel 
comfortable or laugh on Sunday. 



HOW IT CAME TO BE WRITTEN 


The little boy was glad when the superin- 
tendent thumped the bell and announced: “We 
will now sing the closing h3mm.” One more 
bad hour was over. For one more week the 
little boy had got rid of Jesus. 

Years went by and the boy grew up and be- 
came a business man. 

He began to wonder about Jesus. 

He said to himself: “Only strong magnetic 
men inspire great enthusiasm and build great 
organizations. Yet Jesus built the greatest or- 
ganization of all. It is extraordinary.” 

The more sermons the man heard and the 
more books he read the more mystified he be- 
came. 

One day he decided to wipe his mind clean 
of books and sermons. 

He said, “I will read what the men who knew 
Jesus personally said about him. I will read 
about him as though he were a new historical 
character, about whom I had never heard any- 
thing at all.” 



HOW IT CAME TO BE WHITTEN 

The man was amazed. 

A physical weakling! Where did they get 
that idea? Jesus pushed a plane and swung an 
adze; he was a successful carpenter. He slept 
outdoors and spent his days walking around 
his favorite lake. His muscles were so strong 
that when he drove the money-changers out, no- 
body dared to oppose him! 

A kill-joy! He was the most popular dinner 
guest in Jerusalem! The criticism which proper 
people made was that he spent too much time 
with publicans and sinners (very good fellows, 
on the whole, the man thought) and enjoyed 
society too much. They called him a “wine bib- 
ber and a gluttonous man.” 

A failure! He picked up twelve men from 
the bottom ranks of business and forged them 
into an organization that conquered the world. 

When the man had finished his reading he ex- 
claimed, “This is a man nobody knows. 

“Some day,” said he, “some one will write s 
book about Jesus. Every business man will read 
it and send it to his partners and his salesmen. 



HOW IT CAME TO BE WHITTEN 


For it will tell the story of the founder of mod- 
em business.” 

So the man waited for some one to write the 
book, but no one did. Instead, more books were 
published about the “lamb of God” who was 
weak and unhappy and glad to die. 

The man became impatient. One day he said, 
“I believe I will try to write that book, myself.” 

And he did. 




THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 




THE MAN 
NOBODY KNOWS 


CHAPTER I 
The Executive 

It was very late in the afternoon. 

If you would like to learn the measure of a 
man, that is the time of day to watch him. We 
are all half an inch taller in the morning than at 
night; it is fairly easy to take a large view of 
things when the mind is rested and the nerves 
are calm. But the day is a steady drain of small 
annoyances, and the difference in the size of 
men becomes hourly more apparent. The little 
man loses his temper; the big man takes a firm- 
er hold. 

It was very late in the afternoon in Galilee. 

The dozen men who had walked all day oven 

t 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


the dusty roads were hot and tired, and the 
sight of a village was very cheering, as they 
looked down on it from the top of a little hill. 
Their leader, deciding that they had gone far 
enough, sent two members of the party ahead 
to arrange for accommodations, while he and 
the others sat down by the roadside to wait. 

After a bit the messengers were seen return- 
ing, and even at a distance it was apparent that 
something unpleasant had occurred. Their 
cheeks were flushed, their voices angry, and as 
they came nearer they quickened their pace, 
each wanting to be the first to explode the bad 
news. Breathlessly they told it — ^the people in 
the village had refused to receive them, had 
given them blunt notice to seek shelter some- 
where else. 

The indignation of the messengers communi- 
cated itself to the others, who at first could 
hardly believe their ears. This back-woods vil- 
lage refuse to entertain their master — it was un- 
thinkable. He was a famous public character 
in that part of the world. He had healed sick 
people and given freely to the poor. In the 

2 



THE EXECUTIVE 


Capital city crowds had followed him enthusi- 
astically, so that even his disciples had become 
men of importance, looked up to and talked 
about. And now to have this country village 
deny them admittance as its guests — 

“Lord, these people are insufferable,” one of 
them cried. “Let us call down fire from Heav- 
en and consume them.” 

The others joined in with enthusiasm. Eire 
from Heaven — ^that was the ideal Make them 
smart for their boorishness! Show them that 
they can’t affront us with impimityl Come, 
Lord, the fire — 

There are times when nothing a man can say 
is nearly so powerful as saying nothing. Every 
executive knows that instinctively. To argue 
brings him down to the level of those with whom 
he argues; silence convicts them of their folly; 
they wish they had not spoken so quickly; they 
wonder what he thinks. The lips of Jesus tight- 
ened; his fine features showed the strain of the 
preceding weeks, and in his eyes there was a 
foreshadowmg of the more bitter weeks to come. 
He needed that night’s rest, but he said not a 

8 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

word. Quietly he gathered up his garments and 
started on, his outraged companions following. 
It is easy to imagine his keen disappointment. 
He had been working with them for three years 
. . . would they never catch a true vision of 
what he was about? He had so little time, and 
they were constantly wasting his time. . . . He 
had come to save mankind, and tliey wanted 
him to gratify his personal resentment by burn- 
ing up a village! 

Down the hot road they trailed after him, 
awed by his silence, vaguely conscious that they 
had failed again to measure up. “And they 
went to another village,” says the narrative — 
nothing more. No debate; no bitterness; no 
futile conversation. In the mind of Jesus the 
thing was too small for comment. In a world 
where so much must be done, and done quickly, 
the memory could not afford to be burdened 
with a petty slight. 

“And they went to another village." 

Eighteen hundred years later an important; 

4 



THE EXECUTIVE 

man left the White House in Washington for 
the War Office, with a letter from the Presi- 
dent to the Secretary of War. In a very few 
minutes he was back in the White House again 
bursting with indignation. The President 
looked up in mild surprise. 

“Did you give the message to Stanton?” he 
asked. 

The other man nodded, too angry for words. 

“Wliat did he do?” 

“He tore it up,” exclaimed the outraged citi- 
zen, “and what’s more, sir, he said you are a 
fool.” 

The President rose slowly from the desk, 
stretching his long frame to its full height, and 
regarding the wrath of the other with a quizzical 
glance. 

“Did Stanton call me that?” he asked. 

“He did, sir, and repeated it.” 

“Well,” said the President with a dry laugh, 
“I reckon it must be true then, because Stanton 
is generally right.” 

The angry gentleman waited for the storm 

5 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


to break, but nothing happened. Abraham Lin- 
coln turned quietly to his desk and went on with 
his work. It was not the first time that he had 
been rebuffed. In the early months of the war 
when every messenger brought bad news, and 
no one in Washington knew at what hour the 
soldiers of Lee might appear at the outskirts, 
he had gone to call on General McClellan, tak- 
ing a member of the Cabinet with him. Official 
etiquette prescribes that the President shall not 
visit a citizen, but the times were too tense for 
fetiquette; he wanted first hand news from the 
only man who could give it. 

The General was out, and for an hour they 
waited in the deserted parlor. They heard his 
voice at last in the hall and sui)posed of course 
that he would come in at once. But the “Young 
Napoleon” was too filled with his own impor- 
tance; without so much as a word of greeting 
he brushed by, and proceeded on his haughty 
way up-stairs. Ten minutes passed — fifteen — 
half an hour — ^they sent a servant to remind him 
that the President was still waiting. Obviously 

6 



THE EXECUTIVE 


shocked and embarrassed the man returned. 
The General was too tired for a conference, he 
said; he had imdressed and gone to bed! 

Not to make a scene before the servants, the 
Cabinet member restrained himself imtil they 
were on the sidewalk. Then he burst forth, de- 
manding that this conceited upstart be removed 
instantly from command. Lincoln laid a sooth- 
ing hand on the other’s shoulder. “There, 
there,” he said with his deep, sad smile, “I will 
hold McClellan’s horse if only he will bring us 
victories.” 

Other leaders in history have had that supe- 
riority to personal resentment and small annoy- 
ances which is one of the surest signs of great- 
ness; but Jesus infinitely surpasses all. He 
knew that pettiness brings its own punishment. 
The law of compensation operates inexorably to 
reward and afflict us by and through ourselves. 
The man who is mean is mean only to liimself. 
The village that had refused to admit him re- 
quired no fire; it was already dealt with. No 
miracles were performed in that village. No 

7 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


sick were healed; no hungry were fed; no poor 
received the message of encouragement and in- 
spiration — ^that was the penalty for its boorish- 
ness. As for him, he forgot the incident im- 
mediately. He had work to do. 

Theology has spoiled the thriU of his life by 
assuming that he knew everything from the be- 
ginnmg — ^that his three years of public work 
were a kind of dress rehearsal, with no real 
problems or crises. What interest would there 
be in such a life? What inspiration? You who 
read these pages have your own creed concern- 
ing him; I have mine. Let us forget all creed 
for the time being, and take the story just as 
the simple narratives give it — a poor boy, grow- 
ing up in a peasant family, working in a car- 
penter shop; gradually feeling his powers ex- 
panding, beginning to have an influence over 
his neighbors, recruiting a few followers, suffer- 
ing disappointments and reverses, finally 
death. Yet building so solidly and well that 
death was only the beginning of his influence! 

8 



THE EXECUTIVE 


Stripped of all dogma this is the grandest 
achievement story of all! In the pages of this 
little book let us treat it as such. If, in so doing, 
we are criticized for overemphasizing the human 
side of his character we shall have the satisfac- 
tion of knowing that oiu: overemphasis tends a 
little to offset the very great overemphasis 
which has been exerted on the other side. Books 
and hooks and books have been written about 
him as the Son of God; surely we have a rev- 
erent right to remember that his favorite title 
for himself was the Son of Man. 

Nazareth, where he grew up, was a little town 
in an outlying province. In the fashionable 
circles of Jerusalem it was quite the thing to 
make fun of Nazareth — ^its crudities of custom 
and speech, its simplicity of manner. “Can any 
good thing come out of Nazareth?” they asked 
derisively when the report spread that a new 
prophet had arisen in that country town. The 
question was regarded as a complete rebuttal of 
his pretensions. 

The Galileans were quite consdom of the city 

9 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


folks’ contempt, but they bore it lightly. Life 
was a cheerful and easy-going affair with them. 
The sun shone almost every day; the land was 
fruitful; to make a living was nothing much to 
worry about. There was plenty of time to visit. 
Families went on picnics in Nazareth, as else- 
where in the world; young people walked to- 
gether in the moonlight and fell in love in the 
spring. Boys laughed boisterously at their 
games and got into ti’ouble with their pranks. 
And Jesus, the boy who worked in the carpenter 
shop, was a leader among them. 

Later on we shall refer again to those boy- 
hood experiences, noting how they contributed 
to the vigorous physique which carried him tri- 
umphantly through his work. We are quite un- 
mindful of chronology in writing this little book. 
We are not bound by the familiar outline which 
begins with the song of the angels at Bethlehem 
and ends with the weejjing of the women at the 
cross. We shall thread our way back and forth 
through the rich variety of his life, picking up 
this incident and that bit of conversation, thia 

XO 



THE EXECUTIVE 


dramatic contact and that audacious decision, 
and bringing them together as best to illustrate 
our purpose. For that purpose is not to write 
a biography but to paint a portrait. So in this 
first chapter we pass quickly over thirty years 
of his life, noting only that somehow, some- 
where there oceimred in those years the eternal 
miracle — ^the awakening of the inner conscious- 
ness of power. 

The eternal miracle I In New York one day 
a luncheon was tendered by a gathering of dis- 
tinguished gentlemen to David Lloyd George. 
There were perhaps two hundred at the 
tables. The food was good and the speeches 
were impressive. But what stirred one’s imag- 
ination was a study of the men at the speakers* 
table. There they were — some of the most in- 
fluential citizens of the present-day world; and 
who were they? At one end an international 
financier — ^the son of a poor country parson. 
Beside him a great newspaper proprietor — ^he 
came from a tiny town in Maine and landed in 
New York with less than a hundred dollars, A 

11 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


little farther along the president of a world-wide 
press association — ^a copy boy in a country news- 
paper office. And, in the center, the boy who 
grew up in the poverty of an obscure Welsh 
village, and became the commanding statesman 
of the British Empire in the greatest crisis of 
history. 

When and how and where did the eternal 
miracle occur in the lives of those men? At 
what hour, in the morning, in the afternoon, in 
the long quiet evenings, did the audacious 
thought enter the mind of each of them that he 
was larger than the limits of a country town, 
that his life might be bigger than his father’s? 
When did the thought come to Jesus? Was it 
one morning when he stood at the carpenter’s 
bench, the sun streaming in across the hills? 
Was it late in the night, after the family had 
retired, and he had slipped out to walk and 
wonder under the stars? Nobody knows. All 
we can be sure of is this — ^that the consciousness 
of his divinity must have come to him in a time 
of solitude, of awe in the presence of Nature, 

12 



THE EXECUTIVE 


The western hemisphere has been fertile in 
material progress, hut the great religions have 
all come out of the East. The deserts are a 
symbol of the infinite; the vast spaces that di- 
vide men from the stars fill the human soul with 
wonder. Somewhere, at some unforgettable 
hour, the daring filled his heart. He knew that 
he was bigger than Nazareth. 

Another young man had grown up near by 
and was beginning to be heard from in the larg- 
er world. His name was John. How much 
the two boys may have seen of each other we do 
not know; but certainly the younger, Jesus, 
looked up to and admired his handsome, fearless 
cousin. We can imagine with what eager in- 
terest he must have received the reports of 
John’s impressive success at the capital. He 
was the sensation of that season. The fashion- 
able folk of the city were flocking out to the 
river to hear his denunciations; some of them 
even accepted his demand for repentance and 
were baptized. His fame grew; his uncom- 
promising speeches were quoted far and wide. 

Id 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


The business men of Nazareth who had been up 
to Jerusalem brought back stories and quota- 
tions. There was considerable head-wagging as 
there always is; these folk had kno\vn of John 
as a boy; they could hardly believe that he was 
as much of a man as the world seemed to think. 
But there was one who had no doubts. A day 
came when he was missing from the carpenter 
shop; the sensational news spread through the 
streets that he had gone to Jerusalem, to John, 
to be baptized. 

John’s reception of him was flattering. Dur- 
ing the ceremony of baptism and for the rest of 
that day Jesus was in a state of splendid exulta- 
tion. No shadow of a doubt darkened his en- 
thusiasm. He was going to do the big things 
which John had done; he felt the power stirring 
in him; he was all eager to begin. Then the 
day closed and night descended, and with it 
came the doubts. The narrative describes them 
as a threefold temptation and introduces Satan 
to add to the dramatic quality of the event. In 
our simple story we need not spend much time 

14 



THE EXECUTIVE 


^th the description of Satan. We do not know 
whether he is to be regarded as a personality or 
as an impersonalization of an inner experience. 
The temptation is more real without him, more 
akin to our own trials and doubts. With him or 
•without him, however, the meaning of the ex- 
perience is clear. 

TMs is its meaning; the day of supreme as- 
surance had passed; the days of fearful misgiv- 
ing had come. What man of outstanding ge- 
nius has ever been allowed to escape them? For 
how many days and weeks do you think the soul 
of Lincoln must have been tortured? Inside 
himself he felt his power, but where and when 
Would opportunity come? Must he forever ride 
the country circuit, and sit in a dingy office 
settling a commtmity’s petty disputes? Had he 
perhaps mistaken the inner message? Was he, 
after all, only a common fellow — a fair country 
lawyer and a good teller of jokes? Those who 
rode with him on the circuit testify to his ter- 
rifying moods of silence. What solemn thoughts 
besieged him in those silences? What fear of 

15 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

failure? What futile rebellion at the narrow 
limits of his hfe? 

The (lays of Jesus’ doubt are set down as 
forty in number. It is easy to imagine that 
lonely struggle. He had left a good trade 
among people who knew and trusted him — and 
for what? To become a wandering preacher, 
talking to folks who never heard of him? And 
what was he to talk about? How, with his lack 
of experience, should he find words for his mes- 
sage? Where should be begin? Who would 
listen? Would they listen? Hadn’t he perhaps 
made a mistake? Satan, says the narrative, 
tempted him, saying: “You are hungry; here are 
stones. Make them into bread.” — The tempta- 
tion of material success. It was entirely unnec- 
essary for him to be hungry ever. He had a 
good trade; he knew well enough that his or- 
ganizing ability was better than Joseph’s. He 
could build up a far more successful business 
and acquire comfort and wealth. Why not? 

Satan comes in again, according to the narra- 
tive, taking him up into a high mountain and 

16 



THE EXECUTIVE 


showing him the kingdoms of the world. “All 
these can be yours, if you will only com- 
promise.” He could go to Jerusalem and enter 
the priesthood; that was a sure road to distinc- 
tion. He could do good in that way, and have 
the satisfaction of success as well. Or he might 
enter the public service, and seek political lead- 
ership. There was plenty of discontent to be 
capitalized, and he knew the farmer and the 
laborer; he was one of them; they would listen 
to him. 

For forty days and nights the incessant fight 
went on, but once settled, it was settled forever. 
In the calm of that wilderness there came the 
majestic conviction which is the very soul of 
leadership — ^the faith that his spirit was linked 
with the Eternal, that God had sent him into the 
world to do a work which no one else could do, 
which — ^if he neglected it — ^would never be 
done. Magnify this temptation scene as greatly 
as you will; say that God spoke more clearly to 
him than to any who has ever lived. It is true. 
But to every man of vision the clear Voice 

17 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

speaks; there is no great leadership where there 
is not a mystic. Nothing splendid has ever been 
achieved except by those who dared believe that 
something inside themselves was superior to cir- 
cumstance. To choose the sure thing is treason 
to the soul. ... If this was not the meaning of 
the forty days in the wilderness, if Jesus did not 
have a real temptation which might have ended 
in his going back to the bench at Nazareth, then 
the forty days’ struggle has no real significance 
to us. But the temptation was real, and he con- 
quered. The youth who had been a carpenter 
stayed in the wilderness, a man came out. Not 
the full-fledged master who, within the shadow 
of the cross could cry, “I have overcome the 
world.” He had still much growth to make, 
much progress in vision and self-confidence. 
But the beginnings were there. Men who looked 
upon him from that hour felt the authority of 
one who has put his spiritual house in order, and 
knows clearly what he is about. 

Success is always exciting; we never grow 
tired of asking what and how. What, then, were 

18 



THE EXECUTIVE 


the principal elements in his power over men? 
How was it that the boy from a coimtry village 
became the greatest leader? 

First of all he had the voice and manner of 
the leader — ^the personal magnetism which be- 
gets loyalty and commands respect. The be- 
ginnings of it were present in him even as a boy. 
John felt them. On the day when John looked 
up from the river where he was baptizing con- 
verts and saw Jesus standing on the bank, he 
drew back in protest. “I have need to be bap- 
tized of thee,” he exclaimed, “and comest thou 
to me?” The lesser man recognized the greater 
instinctively. We speak of personal magnetism 
as though there were something mysterious 
about it — a magic quality bestowed on one in 
a thousand and denied to all the rest. This is 
not true. The essential element in personal 
magnetism is a consuming sincerity — ^an over- 
whelming faith in the importance of the work 
one has to do. Emerson said, “What you are 
thimders so loud I can’t hear what you. say.” 
And Mirabeau, watching the face of the young 

19 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


Robespierre, exclaimed, “That man will go far; 
he believes every word he says.” 

Most of us go through the world mentally 
divided against ourselves. We wonder whether 
we are in the right jobs, whether we are making 
the right investments, whether, after all, any- 
thing is as important as it seems to be. Our 
enemies are those of our own being and creation. 
Instinctively we wait for a commanding voice, 
for one who shall say authoritatively, “I have 
the truth. This way lies happiness and salva- 
tion.” There was in Jesus supremely that 
quality of conviction. 

Even very successful people were moved by 
it. Jesus had been in Jerusalem only a day or 
two when there came a knock at his door at 
night. He opened it to find Nicodemus, one of 
the principal men of the city; a member of the 
Sanhedrin, a supreme court judge. One feels 
the dramatic quality of the meeting — the young, 
almost unknown, teacher and the great man, 
half curious, half convinced. It would have been 
easy to make a mistake. Jesus might very 

20 



THE EXECUTIVE 


naturally have expressed his sense of honor at 
the visit; have said: “I appreciate your coming, 
sir. You are an older man and successful. I 
am just starting on my work. I should like to 
have you advise me as to how I may best pro- 
ceed.” But there was no such note in the inter- 
view — ^no effort to make it easy for this notable 
visitor to become a convert. One catches his 
breath involuntarily at the audacity of the 
speech: 

“Verily, verily, I say to you, Nicodemus, 
except you are born again you can not see the 
kingdom of Heaven.” And a few moments 
later, “If I have told you earthly things and you 
have not believed, how shall you believe if I tell 
you heavenly things?” 

The famous visitor did not enroll as a disciple, 
was not invited to enroll; but he never forgot 
the impression made by the young man’s amaz- 
ing self-assurance. In a few weeks the crowds 
along the shores of the Sea of Galilee were to 
feel the same power and respond to it. They 
were quite accustomed to the discourses of the 

21 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


Scribes and Pharisees — ^long, involved argu- 
ments backed up by many citations from the 
law. But this teacher was different. He quoted 
nobody ; his own word was offered as sufficient. 
He taught as “one having authority and not as 
the scribes.” Still later we have yet more strik- 
ing proof of the power that supreme conviction 
can carry. At this date he had become so large 
a public influence as to threaten the peace of the 
rulers, and they sent a detachment of soldiers 
to arrest him. They were stern men, presumably 
immune to sentiment. They returned, after a 
while, empty-handed. 

“What’s the matter?” their commander de- 
manded angrily, “Why didn’t you bring him 
in?” 

And they, smarting under their failure and 
hardly knowing how to explain it, could make 
only a surly excuse. 

“You’ll have to send some one else,” they 
said. “We don’t want to go against him. Never 
man so spake” 

They were armed; he had no defense but his 

22 



THE EXECUTIVE 


manner and tone, but these were enough. In 
any crowd and under any circumstances the 
leader stands out. By the power of his faith in 
himself he commands, and men instinctively obey. 

This blazing conviction was the first and 
greatest element in the success of Jesus. The 
second was his wonderful power to pick men, 
and to recognize hidden capacities in them. It 
must have amazed Nicodemus when he learned 
the names of the twelve whom the young teacher 
had chosen to be his associates. What a list! 
Not a single well-known person on it. Nobody 
who had ever made a success of anything. A 
haphazard collection of fishermen and small- 
town business men, and one tax collector — 
member of the most hated element in the com- 
munity. WTiat a crowd! 

Nowhere is there such a startling example of 
executive success as the way in which that or- 
ganization was brought together. Take the tax 
collector, Matthew, as the most striking in- 
stance. His occupation carried a heavy weight 
of social ostracism, but it was profitable. He 

23 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


was probably well-to-do according to the sim- 
ple standards of the neighborhood; certainly he 
was a busy man and not subject to impulsive 
action. His addition to the group of disciples 
is told in a single sentence: 

“And as Jesus passed hy, he called Matthew.” 

Amazing. No argument; no pleading. A 
smaller leader would have been compelled to 
set up the advantages of the opportmiity. “Of 
course you are doing well where you are and 
making money,” he might have said. “I can’t 
offer you as much as you are getting; in fact 
you may have some difficulty in making ends 
meet. But I think we are going to have an in- 
teresting time and shall probably accomplish a 
big work.” Such a conversation would have 
been met with Matthew’s reply that he would 
“have to think it over,” and the world would 
never have heard his name. 

There was no such trifling with Jesus. As he 
passed hy he called Matthew. No executive in 
the world can read that sentence without ac- 
knowledging that here indeed is the Master. 

24 



THE EXECUTIVE 


He had the born leader’s gift for seeing 
powers in men of which they themselves were 
often almost imconscious. One day as he was 
coming into a certain town a tremendous crowd 
pressed around him. There was a rich man 
named Zacchseus in the town; small in stat- 
ure, but with such keen business ability that he 
had got himself generally disliked. Being cu- 
rious to see the distinguished visitor he had 
climbed up into a tree. Imagine his surprise 
when Jesus stopped imder the tree and com- 
manded him to come down saying, “To-day I 
intend to eat at your house.” The crowd was 
stunned. Some of the bolder spirits took it 
upon themselves to teU Jesus of his social 
blunder. He couldn’t afford to make the mis- 
take of visiting Zacchasus, they said. Their 
protests were without avail. They saw in 
Zacchseus merely a dishonest little Jew; he saw 
in him a man of unusual generosity and a fine 
sense of justice, who needed only to have those 
qualities revealed by some one who understood. 
So with Matthew — ^the crowd saw only a de- 

25 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

spised tax-gatherer. Jesus saw the potential 
writer of a book which will live forever. 

So also with that “certain Centurion,” who 
is one of the anonymous characters in history 
that every business man would have liked to 
meet. The disciples brought him to Jesus with 
some misgivings and apology. They said, “Of 
course this man is a Roman employee, and you 
may reprove us for introducing him. But really 
he is a very good fellow, a generous man and a 
respecter of our faith.” Jesus and the Centurion 
looking at each other found an immediate bond 
of union — each responding to the other’s 
strength. Said the Centurion: 

“Master, my servant is ill; but it is unneces- 
sary for you to visit my house. I understand 
how such things are done, for I, too, am an 
executive; I say to this man ‘Go’ and he goeth; 
and to another ‘Come,’ and he cometh; and to 
my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he doeth it. There- 
fore, speak the word only, and I know my serv- 
ant will be healed.” 

Jesus’ face kindled with admiration. “I havff 

26 



THE EXECUTIVE 


not found anywhere such faith as this,” he ex- 
claimed. This man understood him. Both were 
executives. They had the same problems and 
the same power; they talked the same language. 

Having gathered together his organization, 
there remained for Jesus the tremendous task 
of training it. And herein lay the third great 
element in his success — ^his vast unending pa- 
tience. The Church has attached to each of the 
disciples the title of Saint and thereby done 
most to destroy the conviction of their reality. 
They were very far from sainthood when he 
picked them up. For three years he had them 
with him day and night, his whole energy and 
resources poured out in an effort to create an 
understanding in them. Yet through it all they 
never fully understood. We have seen, at the 
beginning of this chapter, an example of their 
petulance. The narratives are full of similar 
discouragements. 

In spite of all he could do or say, they were 
persuaded that he planned to overthrow the 
Roman power and set himself up as ruler in 

27 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


Jerusalem. Hence they never tired of wrang- 
ling as to how the offices should be divided. 
Two of them, James and John, got their mother 
to come to him and ask that her sons might sit, 
one on his right hand and one on his left. Wlien 
the other ten heard of it they were angry with 
James and John; but Jesus never lost his pa- 
tience. He believed that the way to get faith 
out of men is to show that you have faith in 
them; and from that great principle of executive 
management he never wavered. 

Of all the disciples Simon was most noisy and 
aggressive. It was he who was always volun- 
teering advice, forever proclaiming the staunch- 
ness of his own courage and faith. One day 
Jesus said to him, “Before the cock crows to- 
morrow you will deny me thrice.” Simon was 
indignant. Though they killed him, he cried, he 
would never deny! Jesus merely smiled — and 
that night it happened. ... A lesser leader 
would have dropped Simon. “You have had 
your chance,” he would have said, “I am sorry 
but I must have men around me on whom I cart 

28 



THE EXECUTIVE 


depend.” Jesus had the rare understanding 
that the same man will usually not make the 
same mistake twice. To this frail, very human, 
very likable ex-fisherman he spoke no word of 
rebuke. Instead he played a stroke of master- 
strategy. “Your name is Simon,” he said. 
“Hereafter you shall be called Peter.” (A 
rock.) It was daring, but he knew his man. 
The shame of the denial had tempered the iron 
of that nature like fire; from that time on there 
was no faltering in Peter, even at the death. 

The Bible presents an interesting collection 
of contrasts in this matter of executive ability. 
Samson had almost all the attributes of leader- 
ship. He was physically powerful and hand- 
some; he had the great courage to which men 
always respond. Xo man was ever given a finer 
opportimity to free his countrymen from the 
oppressors and build up a great place of power 
for himself. Yet Samson failed miserably. He 
could do wonders singlehanded, but he could not 
organize. Moses started out under the sa m e 
handicap. He tried to be everything and do 

29 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

everything; and was almost on the verge of fail-* 
ure. It was his father-in-law, Jethro, who saved 
him from calamity. Said that shrewd old man: 
“The thing that thou doest is not good. Thou 
wilt surely wear away, both thou and this people 
that is with thee, for this thing is too heavy for 
thee, for thou are not able to perform it thyself 
alone.” 

Moses took the advice and associated with 
himself a partner, Aaron, who was strong where 
he was weak. They supplemented each other 
and together achieved what neither of them 
could have done alone. 

John, the Baptist, had the same lack. He 
could denounce, but he could not construct. He 
drew crowds who were willing to repent at his 
command, but he had no program for them after 
their repentance. They waited for him to or- 
ganize them for some sort of effective service, 
and he was no organizer. So his followers 
drifted away and his movement gradually coh- 
lapsed. The same thing might have happened 
to the work of Jesus. He started with much less 

80 



THE EXECUTIVE 


reputation than John and a much smaller group 
of followers. He had only twelve, and they 
were imtrained simple men, with elementary 
weakness and passions. Yet because of the fire 
of his personal conviction, because of his mar^ 
velous instinct for discovering their latent 
powers, and because of his unwavering faith and 
patience, he molded them into an organization 
which carried on victoriously. Within a very 
few years after his death, it was reported in a 
far-off comer of the Roman Empire that “these 
who have turned the world upside down have 
come hither also.” A few decades later the 
proud Emperor himself bowed his head to the 
teachings of this Nazareth carpenter, trans- 
mitted through common men. 



CHAPTER II 


The Outdoor Man 

To MOST of the crowd there was nothing un- 
usual in the scene. That is the tragedy of it. 

The air was filthy with the smell of animals 
and human beings herded together. Men and 
women trampled one another, crying aloud their 
imprecations. At one side of the court were the 
pens of the cattle; the dove cages at the other. 
In the foreground, hard-faced priests and 
money-changers sat behind long tables exacting 
the utmost farthing from those who came to 
buy. One would never imagine that this was 
a place of worship. Yet it was the Temple — ■ 
the center of the religious life of the nation. 
And to the crowds who jammed its courts, the 
spectacle seemed perfectly normal. 

That was the tragedy of it. 

Standing a little apart from the rest, the 
32 



THE OUTDOOR MAN 


young man from Nazareth watched in amaze* 
ment which deepened gradually into anger. It 
was no familiar sight to him. He had not been 
in the Temple since his twelfth year, when 
Joseph and Mary took him up to be legally en- 
rolled as a son of the law. His chief memory 
of that previous visit was of a long conversation 
with certain old men in a quiet room. He had 
not witnessed the turmoil in the outer courts, 
or, if he had, it made small impression on his 
youthful mind. 

But this day was different. For weeks he 
had looked forward to the visit, planning the 
journey with a company of Galilean pilgrims 
who tramped all day and spent the nights in 
their tents under the open sky. To be sure some 
of the older ones muttered about the extortions 
of the money-changers. A woman told how the 
lamb which she had raised with so much devo- 
tion the previous year, had been scornfully re- 
jected by the priests, who directed her to buy 
from the dealers. An old man related his ex- 
perience. He had brought down the saviugs of 

83 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

months to purchase his gift, and the money- 
changers converted his provincial currency into 
the temple coin at a robber’s rate. Other pil- 
grims had similar stories, but after aU they were 
old people, prone to complain. The journey 
and the sacrifice were worth the cost. One must 
expect to pay for so great a privilege. 

So the young man may have thought the night 
before; but to-day he faced the sordid reality, 
and his cheeks flushed. A woman’s shrill tones 
pierced his revery like a knife; he turned to see 
a peasant mother protesting vainly against a 
ruthless exaction. An unruly animal threatened 
to break through the bars, and a part of the 
crowd fell back with cries of terror. A money- 
changer with the face of a pig leaned gloatingly 
over his hoard. . . . The young man had picked 
up a handful of cords from the pavement and 
half unconsciously now was braiding them into a 
whip, watching the whole scene silently. 

And suddenly, without a word of warning, he 
strode to the table where the fat money-changer 
sat, and hurled it violently across the court. The 

34 



THE OUTDOOR MAN 

startled robber lurched forward, grasping at his 
gains, lost his balance and fell sprawling on the 
ground. Another step and a second table was 
over-turned, and another, and another. The 
crowd which had melted back at the start began 
to catch a glimmering of what was up, and 
surged forward arovmd the yornig man. He 
strode on, looking neither to right nor left. He 
reached the counters where the dove cages 
stood; with quick sure movements the cages 
were opened and the occupants released. Brush- 
ing aside the group of dealers who had taken 
their stand in front of the cattle pens, he threw 
down the bars and drove the bellowing animals 
out through the crowd and into the streets, strik- 
ing vigorous blows with his little whip. 

The whole thing happened so quickly that the 
priests were swept off their feet. Now, how- 
ever, they collected themselves and bore down 
upon him in a body. Who was he that dared 
this act of defiance? TVhere had he come from? 
By what authority did he presume to interrupt 
their business? The crowds gave way again at 

85 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

the onslaught; they enjoyed the tumult as a 
crowd always does, and they hated the priests 
and robbers ; but when it came to answering for 
the consequences, they were perfectly willing to 
leave it to him. 

And he was willing they should. He stood 
flushed and panting, the little whip still in his 
hands. His glance swept scornfully over the 
faces, distorted by anger and greed. 

"TAis is my authority,” he cried. “It is writ- 
ten, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer 
for all the nations,’ but ye have made it a den 
of robbers.” 

Stung by his taimt, his accusers hesitated, and 
in their moment of hesitation were lost. The 
soldiers turned their backs; it was nothing 
that they cared about. But the crowd burst 
forth in a mighty cheer and rushing forward 
bore him out of the Temple, the priests and the 
money-changers scurrying before him. That 
lodght his action was the talk of the town. 

“Did you hear what happened in the Temple 
to-day?” 


86 



THE OUTDOOR MAN 


‘‘Not a man of them dared stand up to him.” 

“Dirty thieves — ^it was coming to them.” 

“What’s his name?” 

“Jesus. . . . used to be a carpenter up in 
Nazareth.” 

It is a very familiar story, much preached 
upon and pictured. But almost invariably the 
pictures show him with a halo around his head, 
as though that was the explanation of his tri- 
umph. The truth is so much simpler and 
more impressive. There was, in his eyes, a 
flaming moral purpose; and greed and oppres- 
sion have always shriveled before such fire. But 
with the majesty of his glance there was some- 
thing else which counted powerfully in his favor. 
As his right arm rose and fell, striking its blows 
with that little whip, the sleeve dropped back 
to reveal muscles hard as iron, ^^o one 
who watched him in action had any doubt that 
he was fully capable of taking care of lumself. 
No flabby priest or money-changer cared to try 
conclusions with that arm. 

87 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

There are those to whom it will seem almost 
irreverent to suggest that Jesus was physically 
strong. They think of him as a voice, a pres- 
ence, a spirit ; they never feel the rich contagion 
of his laughter, nor remember how heartily he 
enjoyed good food, nor think of what his years 
of hard toil must have done to his arms and back 
and legs. Look for a minute at those first thir- 
ty years. 

There was no soft bed for his mother on the 
night he entered the world. He was brought 
forth in a stable, amid animals and the animaJ- 
hke men who tended them. He was wrapped 
in rough garments and expected, almost from 
the begiiming, to look after himself. When he 
was stiU an infant the family hurried away into 
Egypt. On the long trip back, some years later, 
he was judged old enough to walk, for there 
were younger children; and so, day after day, he 
trudged beside the little donkey, or scurried into 
the woods by the roadside to find fuel. It was 
a hard school for babyhood but it gave him a 
hardness that was an enormous asset later on. 

88 



THE OUTDOOR MAN 

Early in his boyhood Jesus, as the eldest son, 
went into the family carpenter shop. The 
practise of carpentry was no easy business in 
those simpler days. Doubtless the man who 
took a contract for a house assumed responsi- 
bilities for digging into the rough hillside 
for its foundations; for feUing trees in the 
forest, and shaping them with an adze. In after 
years those who listened to the talk of Jesus by 
the Sea of Galilee, and heard him speak of the 
"man who built his house upon a rock” had no 
doubt that he knew what he was talking about. 
Some of them had seen him bending his strong 
clean shoulders to deliver heavy blows; or 
watched him trudge away into the woods, his 
ax over his shoulder, and return at nightfall 
with a rough-hewn beam. 

So he “waxed strong” as the narrative tells us 
— ^a phrase which has rather been buried under 
the too-frequent repetition of “the meek and 
lowly” and “the lamb.” As he grew in stature 
and experience he developed with his personal 
skiU an. unusual capacity for directing the work 

39 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


of other men so that Joseph allowed him an 
increasing responsibility in the management of 
the shop. And this was fortunate, for the day 
came when Joseph stood at the bench no longer 
— Shaving sawed his last board, and planed it 
smooth — and the management of the business 
descended upon the shoulders of the boy who 
had learned it so thoroughly at his side. 

Is it not high time for a larger reverence to be 
given to that quiet imassuming Joseph? To 
Mary, his wife, the church has assigned a place 
of eternal glory; and no thoughtful man can 
fail to be thankful for it. It is impossible to 
estimate how great an influence has been ex- 
erted for the betterment of woman’s life by the 
fact that minions of human beings have been 
taught from infancy to venerate a woman. 
But with the glorification of Mary, there 
has been an almost complete neglect of 
Joseph. The same theology which has painted 
the son as soft and gentle to the point of weak- 
ness, has exalted the feminine influence in its 
worship, and denied any large place to the 

40 



THE OUTDOOR MAN 

masculine. This is partly because Mary lived 
to be known and remembered by the disciples, 
while nobody remembered Joseph. Was he just 
an imtutored peasant, married to a superior 
woman, and baffled by the genius of a son whom 
he could never understand? Or was there, un- 
derneath his self-effacement, a vigor and faith 
that molded the hoy’s plastic years? Was he a 
happy companion to the youngsters? Did he 
carry the youngest, laughing and crowing on his 
shoulders from the shop? Was he full of jokes 
at dinner time? Was he ever tired and short- 
tempered? Did he ever punish? To all these 
questions the narrative gives no answer. And 
since this is so — since there is none who can re- 
fute us — ^we have a right to form oim own con- 
ception of the character of this vastly significant 
and wholly unknown man, and to be guided by 
the one momentous fact which we do know. It 
is this. He mmt have been friendly and patient 
and fine; he must have seemed to his children to 
he an almost ideal parent — ^for when Jesus 
sought to give mankind a new conception of the 

4)1 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


character of God, he could find no more exalted 
term for his meaning than the one word 
“Father.” 

Thirty years went by. Jesus had discharged 
his duty; the younger children were big enough 
for self-support. The strange stirrings that had 
gone on inside him for years, setting him off 
more and more from his associates, were crys- 
tallized by the reports of John’s success. The 
hour of the great decision arrived; he hung up 
his tools and walked out of town. 

What sort of looking man was he that day 
when he appeared on the bank of the Jordan 
and applied to John for baptism? What had 
the thirty years of physical toil given him in 
stature and physique? Unfortunately the Gos- 
pel narratives supply no satisfying answer to 
these questions; and the only passage in ancient 
literature which purports to be a contemporary 
description of him has been proved a forgery. 
Nevertheless, it requires only a little reading be- 
tween the lines to be sure that almost all the 
painters have misled us. They have shown us 

42 



THE OUTDOOR MAN 


& frail man, imder-muscled, with a soft face — a: 
woman’s face covered by a beard — ^and a benign 
but baffled look, as though the problems of liv- 
ing were so grievous that death would be a wel- 
come release. 

This is not the Jesus at whose word the dis- 
ciples left their business to enlist in an unknown 
cause. 

And for proof of that assertion consider only 
four aspects of his experience: the health that 
flowed out of him to create health in others ; the 
appeal of his personality to women — ^weakness 
does not appeal to them; his lifetime of outdoor 
living; and the steel-like hardness of his nerves. 

First, then, his power of healing. 

He was teaching one day in Capernaum, 
in a house crowded to the doors, when a com- 
motion occurred in the courtyard. A man 
sick in bed for years had heard reports of his 
marvelous power, and persuaded four friends to 
carry him to the house. Now at the very en- 
trance their way was blocked. The eager listen- 
ers inside would not give way even to a sick 

43 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

man; they refused to sacrifice a single word. 
Sorrowfully the four friends started to carry 
the invalid back to his house again. 

But the poor fellow’s will was strong even if 
his body was weak. Bising on his elbow he in- 
sisted that they take him up the stairway on the 
outside of the house and lower him through the 
roof. They protested, but he was inflexible. It 
was his only chance for health and he would not 
give it up until everything had been tried. So 
at length they consented, and, in the midst of a 
sentence the teacher was interrupted dramat- 
ically; the sick man lay helpless at his feet. 

Jesus stopped and bent down, taking the 
flabby hand in his firm grasp; his face was 
lighted with a wonderful smUe. 

“Son, thy sins are forgiven thee,” he said. 
“Bise, take up thy bed and walk.” 

The sick man was stupefied. “Walk I” He 
had never expected to walk again. Didn’t this 
stranger imderstand that he had been bedridden 
for years? Was this some sort of cruel jest to 
make him the laughing-stock of the crowd? A 

44 



THE OUTDOOR MAN 


bitter protest rushed to his lips; he started to 
speak and then halting himself, he looked up — 
up to the calm assimance of those blue eyes, the 
supple strength of those muscles, the ruddy skin 
that testifed to the rich red blood beneath — and 
the healing occurred! It was as though health 
poxmed out of that strong body into the weak 
one like electric current from a dynamo. The 
invalid felt the blood quicken in his palsied 
limbs; a faint flush crept into his thin drawn 
cheeks ; almost involimtarily he tried to rise and 
found to his joy that he could! 

“Walk!” Do you suppose for one minute 
that a weakling, uttering that syllable, would 
have produced any result? If the Jesus who 
looked down on that pitiful wreck had been 
the Jesus of the painters, the sick man would 
have dropped back with a scornful sneer and 
motioned his friends to carry him out. But the 
health of the teacher was irresistible; it seemed 
to cry out, “Nothing is impossible, if only your 
will power is strong enough.” And the man 
who so long ago had surrendered to despair, 

45 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


rose and gathered up his bed and went away, 
healed — ^like hundreds of others in Galilee — ^by 
strength from an overflowing fountain of 
strength. 

One day later, as Jesus walked in a crowd, a 
woman pushed forward and touched his gar- 
ment; and by that single touch was cured. The 
witnesses acclaimed it a miracle and so it was; 
but we need some definition of that word. He 
himself was very reticent about his “miracles.” 
It is perfectly clear that he did not interpret 
them in the same way that his followers did, noi 
attach the same importance to them. He was 
often reluctant to perform them, and frequently 
insisted that the individual who had been healed 
should “go and tell no man.” And on one cele- 
brated occasion — ^his visit to his home town, 
Nazareth — the narrative tells us clearly that the 
miraculous power was powerless, and for a very 
interesting and impressive reason. The people 
of Nazareth were his boyhood acquaintances and 
they were skeptical; they had heard with cynical 
scorn the stories of the wonders he had per- 

46 



THE OUTDOOR MAN 

formed in other towns; they were determined 
not to be fooled; he might deceive the world, 
which knew him only as a teacher; but they 
knew him better — ^he was just Jesus, their old 
neighbor, the son of the local carpenter. So of 
that visit the gospel writers set down one of the 
most tragic sentences in literature. “He could 
do there no mighty work,” they tell us, "became 
of their unbelief " Whatever the explanation of 
his miraculous power may be, it is clear that 
something big was required of the recipient as 
well as the giver. Without a belief in health on 
the part of the sick man, no health was forth- 
coming. And no man could have inspired that 
belief unless his own health and strength were so 
perfect as to make even the impossible seem 
easy. 

Men followed him, and the leaders of men 
have very often been physically strong. But 
women worshiped him. This is significant. 
The names of women constitute a very large 
proportion of the list of his close friends. They 
were women from widely varying stations in 

47 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

life, headed by his mother. Perhaps she never 
fully appreciated his genius; certainly she was 
not without her periods of serious doubt as we 
shall discover later on; yet her loyalty to his best 
interests, as she conceived them, remained true, 
and she stood tearful but unwavering at the foot 
of the cross. There were Mary and Martha, 
two gentle maiden ladies who lived outside Jeru- 
salem and in whose home with Lazarus, their 
brother, he enjoyed frequent hospitality; there 
was Joanna, a rich woman, the wife of one of 
Herod’s stewards — ^these,and many others of the 
type which we are accustomed to designate aa 
“good” women, followed him with a devotion 
which knew no weariness or fear. 

The important, and too often forgotten, fact 
in these relationships is this — ^that women are 
not drawn by weakness. The sallow-faced, thin* 
lipped, so-called spiritual type of man may 
awaken maternal instinct, stirring an emotion 
which is half regard, half pity. But since the 
world began no power has fastened the affection 
of women upon a man like manliness. The men 

48 



THE OUTDOOR MAN 

idio have been women’s men in the finest 
sense, have been the vital, conquering figures of 
history. 

The other sort of women came into contact 
with him, too — ^women of less fortxmate expe- 
rience and reputation — ^whose illusions regard- 
ing men were gone, whose eyes saw piercingly, 
and whose lips were well-versed in phrases of 
contempt. As he taught in the Temple, one of 
them was hurried into his presence by a vulgar 
crowd of self-righteous Scribes and Pharisees. 
She had been taken in the act of infidelity, and 
according to the Mosaic law she could be stoned 
to death. Shrinking, embarrassed, yet with a 
look in which defiance and scorn were mingled 
too, she stood in his presence, and listened while 
their unclean lips played with the story of her 
shame. What thoughts must have raced through 
her mind — ^she who knew men and despised them 
all, and now was brought to judgment before 
a man I They were all alike, in her philosophy; 
what would this one do and say? 

To her amazement, and the discomfiture of 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

her critics, he said nothing. He “stooped down, 
and with his finger wrote on the ground, as 
though he heard them not.” They craned their 
necks to see what he wrote and continued to 
taunt him with their questions: 

“Moses says stone her; what do you say?” 

“Come now, if you are a prophet, here’s a 
matter for you to decide.” 

“We found her in the house of So and So. 
She is guilty; what’s your answer?” 

All this time he had not once looked at the 
woman’s face, and he did not look at her now. 
Slowly he “lifted himself up,” and facing the 
evil-minded pack, said quietly: 

“He that is without sin among you let him 
first cast a stone at her.” 

And again, says the narrative, he stooped 
down and wrote on the groimd. 

A painful silence fell upon the crowd; he con- 
tinued writing. Writing what? Some have ven- 
tured the conjecture that he traced names of 
people and places that brought a blush of shame 
to men in that crowd. That may be so, but it 

50 



THE OUTDOOR MAN 


is more impressive to think that he wrote noth* 
ing of significance; that he merely busied his 
finger in the sand, not to add to her discomfiture 
by looking in her eyes. He wrote — ^and one by 
one the thick-lipped champions of morality drew 
their garments aroimd them and slipped away, 
imtil the court was empty except for him and 
her. Then, and only then, his glance was lifted. 

“Woman, where are those thine accusers? 
Hath no man condemned thee?” he inquired, as 
if in surprise. 

Amazed at the sudden turn of affairs she 
could hardly find her voice. 

“No man. Lord,” she murmured. 

“Neither do I condemn thee,” he answered 
simply. “Go, and sin no more.” 

From the moment when the noisy vulgar 
throng had broken in upon him, he was com- 
plete master of the situation. Those were men 
not easily abashed, but they slunk out of his 
presence without waiting for his command. 
And she, who knew men so much more truly 
than men ever know each other, felt his mastery, 

61 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

responded to his power, and spoke to him rev- 
erently as “Lord.” 

All his days were spent in the open air — ^this 
is the third outstanding testimony to his 
strength. On the Sabbath he was in the syna- 
gogue because that was where the people were 
gathered; but by far the greater part of his 
teaching was done on the shores of his lake, or 
in the cool recesses of the hills. He walked con- 
stantly from village to village; his face was 
tanned by the sim and wind. Even at night he 
slept outdoors, when he could — ^turning his back 
on the hot walls of the city and slipping away 
into the healthful freshness of the Mount of 
Olives. He was the type of outdoor man whom 
our modern thought most admires; and the vig- 
orous activities of his days gave his nerves the 
strength of steel. 

He stepped into a sailboat with his disciples 
late one afternoon, and, being very tired, lay 
down in the stem and was almost immediately 
asleep. The clouds grew thicker and the sur- 
face of the lake which had been quiet a few 

B2 



THE OUTDOOR MAN 

minutes before, was broken into sudden waves. 
The little boat dived and tossed, and still he 
slept. His disciples had grown up on the 
shores of that lake; they were fishermen, accus- 
tomed to its moods and not easily frightened. 
But they had never been out in such a storm as 
this. It grew fiercer; water began to come in 
over the side, every moment seemed to threaten 
destruction. At last they could stand the strain 
no longer; they went to the stem and woke him . 

He rose without the slightest suggestion of 
hurry or alarm. A quick glance was enough to 
give him a full understanding of the situation. 
He issued a few quiet orders and presently the 
menaced boat swxmg round into the smoother 
waters of safety. Call it a miracle or not — the 
fact remains that it is one of the finest examples 
of self-control in all human history. Napoleon 
said that he had met few men with courage of the 
'‘two o’clock in the mornmg variety.” Many 
men can be brave in the warmth of the sun and 
amid the heartening plaudits of the crowd; but 
to be wakened suddenly out of sound sleep, and 

m 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

fiien to exhibit instant mastery — ^that is a type 
of courage which is rare indeed. 

Jesus had that courage, and no man ever 
needed it more. In the last year of his public 
work the forces of opposition took on a form 
and coherency whose significance was perfectly 
clear. If he refused to retreat or to compromise, 
there could be but one end to his career. He 
knew they would loll him, and he knew ho’vo they 
would kill him. More than once in his journeys 
he had passed the victims of the justice of that 
day, vsrithing, tortured beings nailed to crosses 
and waiting piteously for release. Sometimes 
they wilted for days before the end. The mem- 
ory of such sights must have been constantly 
with him; at every sunset he was conscious that 
he had walked just one day nearer to his own 
ordeal. 

Yet he never faltered. Calmly, cheerfully he 
went forward, cheering the spirits of his dis- 
ciples, and striking those fiery blows against 
hypocrisy and oppression which were to be 
ediioed by the hammer blows upon his cross. 

54 



THE OUTDOOR MAN 

when the soldiers came to arrest him, they 
?ound him ready and still calm. 

The week of his trial and crucifixion takes up 
i large portion of the gospels. For that week 
done we can follow him almost hour by hour; 
Ne know where he ate and slept, what he said 
md to whom; we can trace the gathering storm 
)f fury which finally bore him down. And this 
s the magnificent thing to remember — ^that 
hrough all that long torture of imprisonment, 
;ourt trials, midnight hearings, scourgings, loss 
)f food and loss of sleep, he never once ceased to 
)e the master. His accusers were determined. 
They thronged the courtyard before the palace, 
ilamoring for his blood, yet even they felt a mo- 
nentary awe when he appeared before them on 
he balcony. 

Even Pilate felt it. The two men offered a 
itrange contrast standing there — ^the Roman 
governor whose lips were so soon to speak the 
lentence of death, and the silent, self-possessed 
;x-carpenter — accused and doomed — ^yet bear- 
ng himself with so much majesty, as though he 

55 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


were somehow beyond the reach of man-made 
law, and safe from the hurt of its penalties. In 
the face of the Homan were deep unpleasant 
lines; his cheeks were fatty with self-indulgence; 
he had the colorless look of indoor living. The 
straight yoimg man stood inches above him, 
bronzed and hard, and clean as the air of his 
loved mountain and lake. Pilate raised his 
hand; the shouting and the tumult died; a death- 
ly stillness descended upon the crowd. He 
turned and faced the figure at his side, and from 
his coarse lips there burst a sentence which is a 
truer portrait than any painter has ever given 
us. The involuntary testimony of the flabby 
cynical Roman in the presence of perfect 
strength, perfect assurance, perfect cahu: 

“Behold,” he cried, “the man I” 



CHAPTER III 


The Sociabue Man 

A WICKED falsehood has come down through 
the ages. 

It reappeared in an English book as recently 
as last year. The author, in describing a visit 
to the high spirited Lord Fisher, tells of finding 
him less jovial than usual. Obviously something 
was weighing on his mind, and after a while he 
revealed it. 

“You know that Pilate was succeeded as Gov- 
ernor of Jerusalem by Lentulus,” he remarked 
in dull tones, . . . The new Governor gave a 
minute description of our Savior, concluding 
with the statement, ‘"Nobody has ever seen him 
laugh." 

With that wretched remark Lord Fisher 
lapsed into meditative silence. He wanted to be 
reverent; he had been well groxmded in the 

57 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


traditions of his church and class; he would do 
his duty as a Christian and an Englishman, no 
matter what the cost. But to worship a Lord 
who never laughed — ^it was a strain. Lord 
Fisher made no pretense about that. 

The quotation from Lentulus is a forgery, 
penned by an imknown impostor in a later cen- 
tury; yet how persistently it has lived, and with 
what tragic thoroughness it has done its work. 
How many millions of happy-minded folk, when 
they have thought of Jesus at aU, have had a feel- 
ing of imeasiness. “Suppose,” they have said, “he 
were to enter the room and find us laughing and 
enjoying ourselves! When there is so much 
suffering and sin in the world, is it right to be 
happy? What would Jesus say? ...” 

With such compunctions cheerful folk have 
had their brighter moments tinctmed. The 
friendliest man who ever lived has been shut off 
by a black wall of tradition from those whose 
friendship he would most enjoy. Theology has 
reared a graven image, and robbed the world of 
the joy and laughter of the great companion^ 

58 



THE SOCIABLE MAN 


It is not haxd to understand when you re- 
member the character of the early theologians. 
They lived in sad days ; they were men of intro- 
spection, to whom every simple thing was sym- 
bolic of some hidden mystery; and life, itself, a 
tangle of philosophic formulae. 

Baffled by the death of Jesus, they rejected 
the splendid truth, and fashioned a creed in- 
stead. Lambs were put to death in the Temple, 
as a sacrifice for the sins of the worshipers; 
ergo, Jesus was the Lamb of God. His death 
had been planned from the beginning of the 
world; the human race was hopelessly way- 
ward; God knew that it would be and nothing 
would turn Him from His vindictive purpose 
to destroy it but the sacrifice of an innocent Son. 

. . . Thomas Paine remarked truly that no 
religion can be really divine which has in it any 
doctrine that offends the sensibilities of a little 
child. Is there any reader of this page whose 
childish sensibilities were not shocked when the 
traditional explanation of the death of Jesus 
was first poiured into his ears? Would any 

59 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


human father, loving his children, have sen- 
tenced all to death, and been persuaded to com- 
mute the sentence only by the suffering of his 
best beloved? 

Small wonder that the Jesus of such a doc- 
trine was supposed never to have laughed I 

The Gospels teU a different story. But the 
writers were men of simple minds, and natmaUy 
gave greatest emphasis to the events which im- 
pressed them most. Since death is the most dra- 
matic of all the phenomena of life, the crucifixion 
and the events immediately preceding it are set 
forth in complete detail. The denunciation of 
the Pharisees (as startling to the disciples as the 
denunciation of the United States Senate by a 
barefooted philosopher would be to us) ; the 
arrest by the soldiers at night; the trial before 
the Sanhedrin; the hushed moment of the ap- 
pearance on the balcony of Herod’s palace; the 
long sad struggle out to Calvary, and the hours 
of agony on the cross — these were the scenes 
that burned themselves indelibly into their 
memories, and all the simny days preceding 

60 



THE SOCIABLE MAN 

faded into less importance. The life of Jesus, 
as we read it, is what the life of Lincoln would 
he if we were given nothing of his boyhood and 
yoimg manhood, very little of his work in the 
White House and every detail of his assassina- 
tion. AU of the four gospels contain very full 
accoimts of the weeping which attended the 
crucifixion — ^the final miracle; John alone re- 
membered the laughter amid which the first one 
was performed. 

It was in the little town of Cana, not far from 
Nazareth; and Jesus and his mother had been 
invited to a wedding feast. Often such a cele- 
bration continued several days. Everybody was 
expected to enjoy himself to the utmost as long 
as the food and drink lasted — and it was a point 
of pride with the bride’s mother that both food 
and drink should last a long time. 

Enthusiasm was at a high pitch on this occa- 
sion when a servant entered nervously and whis- 
pered a distressing message to the hostess. The 
wine had given out. Picture if you will the poor 
woman’s chagrin I This was her daughter’s 

61 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

wedding — ^the one social event in the life of the 
family. For it they had made every sort of 
sacrifice, cutting a little from their living ex- 
penses, going without a new garment, neglect- 
ing a needed repair in the house. After it was 
over they could coimt the cost and find some 
way to even up; but imtil the last guest had 
gone, no effort should be spared to uphold the 
family’s dignity in the neighborhood. To this 
end the poor woman had planned it in her proud 
sensitive fashion; and now, at the very height 
of success, the whole structure of her dreams 
came tumbling down. The wine had given out. 

Most of the guests were too busy to note the 
entrance of the servant or the quick flush that 
moimted to the hostess’s cheek. But one 
woman’s sight and sympathy were keener. The 
mother of Jesus saw every move in the little 
tragedy, and with that instinct which is quicker 
than reason she understood its meaning. She 
leaned over to her son and confided the message 
which her friendly eyes had read: 

“Son, the wine is gone.” 

62 



THE SOCIABLE MAN 

Well, what of it? He was only one of a score 
of guests, perhaps a hundred. There had been 
wine enough as it was; the party was noisy and 
none too restrained. Let them quiet themselves, 
say good-by to their hostess and get off to bed. 
They would feel much better for it in the morn- 
ing. . . . Or, if they persisted in carrying on, 
let the relatives of the hostess make up the de- 
ficiency. He was only a guest from another 
town. Doubtless the woman’s brothers were 
present, or, if not, then some of her neigh- 
bors. They could easily slip out and bring back 
wine from their own stores before the shortage 
was commented on. . . . Why should he be 
worried with what was none of his affair? 

Besides, there was a precedent in the matter. 
Only a few weeks before when he was tortured 
by hunger in the wilderness, he had refused to 
use his miraculous power to transform stones 
into bread. If the recruiting of his own strength 
was beneath the dignity of a miracle, surely he 
could hardly be expected to intervene to pro- 
Icmg a party like this. . . . “My friends, we 

68 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

hare had a very pleasant evening and I am sure 
we are much indebted to our hostess for it. I 
think we have trespassed as far as we should 
upon her generosity. I suggest that we wish the 
happy couple a long and prosperous life, and 
take om way home.” . . . Surely this is the 
solemn fashion in which a teacher ought to 
talk. 

Did any such thoughts cross his mind? If 
they did we have no record of it. He glanced 
across at the wistful face of the hostess — already 
tears sparkled imder her lids — ^he remembered 
that the event was the one social triumph of her 
self-sacrificing life; and instantly his decision 
was formed. He sent for six pots and ordered 
them filled with water. When the contents of 
the first one was drawn, the ruler of the feast 
lifted his glass to the bridegroom, and the be- 
wildered but happy hostess: “Every man setteth 
on first the good wine,” he cried, “and when men 
have drunk freely, then that which is worse; but 
thou hast kept the good wine tmtU now.” 

The mother of Jesus looked on in wondeis. 
She had never fully understood her son; she did 

64 



THE SOCIABLE MAJS 


not ask to understand. He had somehow saved 
the situation; she did not question how. And 
what was sufficient for her, is sufficient for us. 
The whole problem of his “miracles” is beyond 
our arguments, at this distance. We either ac- 
cept them or reject them according to the make-* 
up of our minds. But if they are to be accepted 
at all, then surely this first one ought not to be 
omitted. It often is omitted from the comments 
on his life, or at least passed over hastily. But 
to us who think first of his friendliness, it seems 
gloriously characteristic, setting the pattern for 
all the three years that were to follow. “I came 
that ye might have life,” he exclaimed, “and 
have it more abundantly.” So, at the very out- 
set, he makes use of his mighty power, not to 
point a solemn moral, not to relieve a sufferer’s 
pain, but to keep a happy party from breaking 
up too soon, to save a hostess from embarrass- 
ment. . . . See, the ruler of the feast rises to 
propose a toast . . . hark to the discordant 
strains of the neighborhood orchestra . . . look, 
a tall broad-shouldered man towers above the 
crowd . - - listen, hear his laugh 1 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


The Jewish prophets were stem-faced men; 
there are few if any gleams of humor in the 
Old Testament from beginning to end. It was 
the business of a prophet to denounce folks for 
their sins. Go to the Boston Public Library and 
look at their portraits. You are moved by their 
moral grandeur, but rather glad to get away. 
They are not the kind of men whom you would 
choose as companions on a fishing trip. 

John the Baptist was the last of this majestic 
succession of thunderers. He forsook the cities 
as being wicked beyond any hope, and pitched 
his camp in a wilderness beside the banks of the 
Jordan. For clothes he wore the skins of ani- 
mals; his food was locusts and wild honey. He 
indulged in long fasts and vigils, from which he 
emerged with flaming eyeballs to deliver his un- 
compromising challenge. “Repent,” he cried, 
stretching out his gaunt arm toward the thought- 
less capital, “repent while you still have time. 
God has given up hope. His patience is ex- 
hausted; He is about to wind up the affairs of 
the world.” Many people flocked out to his 

66 



THE SOCIABLE MAN 

camp and his fiery language burned through to 
consciences that were overgrown with a very 
thick crust. 

Fresh from the carpenter shop came Jesus to 
stand and listen with the rest. To what degree- 
was he influenced? Did he, too, believe that the 
world was almost at an end? Did he see himself 
cast in a role like John’s, a voice in the wilder- 
ness, crying destruction? There is some evi- 
dence to make us think so. He went away from 
John’s camp and hid himself in the woods, and 
there for forty days and nights he fought the 
thing through. But at the end his mind was 
made up. His place was among his fellows. 
For a time his preaching bore a decided resem- 
blance to John’s. He, too, talked of the immi- 
nence of the Kingdom of Heaven and warned 
his hearers that time was short. But little by 
little the note of warning diminished; the ap- 
peal to righteousness as a happier, more satisfy- 
ing way of living increased. God ceased to be 
the stem, imforgiving judge, and became the 
loving, friendly Father. He, himself, was less 

67 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

and less the prophet, more and more the com- 
panion. So much so, that John — imprisoned 
and depressed — ^began to be tortured by doubt. 
Was this Jesus really the man whom he had 
hoped would carry on his work? Had he, John, 
made a mistake? What were these rumors that 
came to him of Jesus’ conduct — ^his presence at 
parties, his failure to keep the stipulated fasts, 
the xmconventional habits of his followers? 
What did such unprophetic conduct mean? 

John sent two of his disciples to watch and to 
ask. And Jesus, knowing how wide was the dif- 
ference between their attitude and his, refused 
to argue or defend. “Go and tell your master 
what you have seen and heard,” he said. “The 
sick are healed, the blind receive their sight and 
the poor have the gospel preached to them. . . . 
It is true that I do not fast, nor forego the 
every-day pleasures of life. John did his work 
and it was fine; but I can not work in his way. 
I must be myself . . . and these results which 
you have seen . . . these are my evidence.” 

He loved to be in the crowd. Apparently he 

68 



THE SOCIABLE MAN 


attended all the feasts at Jerusalem not 
merely as religious festivals but because all the 
folks were there and he had an all-embracing 
fondness for folks. We err if we think of him 
as a social outsider. To be sure it was the 
“poor” who “heard him gladly,” and most of his 
close disciples were men and women of the lower 
classes. But there was a time when he was quite 
the favorite in Jerusalem. The story of his days 
is dotted with these phrases. . . . “A certain 
ruler desired him that he should eat with him.” 
.... “They desired him greatly to remain and 
he abode two days.” .... Even after he had 
denounced the Pharisees as “hypocrites” and 
“children of the devd,” even when the clouds of 
disapproval were gathering for the final storm, 
they still could not resist the charm of his pres- 
ence, nor the stimulation of his talk. Close up 
to the end of the story we read that a “certain 
chief of the Pharisees desired him that he would 
dine at his house.” 

No other public character ever had a more in-* 
teresting list of friends. It ran from the top of 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

the social ladder to the bottom. Nicodemus, the 
member of the supreme court, had too big a 
stake in the social order to dare to be a disciple, 
but he was friendly all the way through, and 
notably at the end. Some unknown rich man, 
the owner of an estate on the Moimt of Olives, 
threw it open to Jesus gladly as a place of re- 
tirement and rest. When he needed a room for 
the last supper with his friends he had only to 
send a messenger ahead and ask for it. The re- 
quest was enough. A Roman centurion was 
glad to be coimted among his acquaintances; the 
wife of the steward of Herod, and probably the 
steward himself, contributed to his comfort. 
And in the last sad hours, when the hatred of 
his enemies had completed its work and his body 
himg lifeless from the cross, it was a rich man 
named Joseph — a rich man who would have 
sunk into oblivion like the other rich men of 
all the ages except for this one great act of 
friendship — ^who begged the authorities for his 
body, and having prepared it for burial laid it in 
a private tomb. 


70 



THE SOCIABLE MAN 


Such were his associates among the socially 
elect. What sort of people made up the rest of 
his circle? All sorts. Pharisees, fishermen; 
merchants and tax collectors; cultivated women 
and outcast women; soldiers, lawyers, beggars, 
lepers, publicans and sinners. What a spectacle 
they must have presented trailing after him 
through the streets, or covering the side of the 
green slopes of the moimtain where he delivered 
his one long discourse I How they reveled in the 
keen thrust of his answers, when some smart 
member of the company tried to trip him up. 
What heated arguments carried back and forth; 
what shrewd retorts, what pointed jokes! He 
loved it all — ^the pressure of the crowd, the clash 
of wits, the eating and the after-diimer talk. 
When he was criticized because he enjoyed it so 
much and because his disciples did not fast and 
go about with gloomy looks, he gave an answer 
that throws a wonderful light upon his own con- 
ception of his mission. 

“Do the friends of the bridegroom fast while 
the bridegroom is still with them?” he de- 

71 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

manded. “Not a bit of it; they enjoy every 
moment of his stay. I am the bridegroom; these 
are my hours of celebration. Let my friends be 
happy with me for the little while that we are 
together. There will be plenty of time for sol- 
emn thoughts after I am gone.” 

This was his own picture of himself — a bride- 
groom! The center and soul of a glorious exist- 
ence; a bringer of news so wonderful that those 
who received it should be marked by their radi- 
ance as by a badge. Of course he disregarded 
the narrow code of the Pharisees. 

“You shall walk only so far on the Sabbath,” 
said the Code. He walked as far as he liked. 

“These things you may eat and these you shall 
not,” said the Code. 

“You’re not defiled by what goes into your 
mouth,” he answered, “but by what comes out.” 

“All prayers must be submitted according to 
the forms provided,” said the Code. “None 
others are acceptable.” 

It was blasphemy to him. His God was no 
Bureau, no Rule Maker, no Accoimtant. “God 

72 



THE SOCIABLE MAN 

is a spirit,” he cried. “Between the great Spirit 
and the spirits of men — ^which are a tiny part of 
His — ^no one has the right to intervene with 
formulse and rules.” 

He told a story which must have outraged the 
self-righteous members of his audience. He said 
that a certain man had two sons. The elder, a 
perfectly proper and perfectly uninteresting 
young man, worked hard, saved his money, and 
conducted himself generally as a respectable 
member of society. But people were gloomier 
rather than happier when he came around. He 
never once gave way to a generous impulse. 

The younger son was a reckless ne’er-do- 
well, who took his portion of the estate and went 
into a far coxmtry where he led a wild hfe and 
presently was penniless and repentant. In that 
mood he proceeded to work his way back to his 
father’s house. The father had never ceased to 
watch and hope; he saw the boy coming a long 
way down the road, ran to him, threw his arms 
around his dusty shoulders, kissed his forehead, 
and bore him in triumph to the front door. 

73 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


“Bring a fatted calf,” he cried. “Make a 
feast; call the neighbors in to celebrate. For 
this my son which was gone has come back; he 
was dead to decency and idealism. Now he has 
cleaned up his thinking and is alive again.” 

There were high doings in that house that 
day, and every one enjoyed them except the 
older son. He was sullen and self-pitying. 
“Where do I come in?” he exclaimed. “Here 
I work and save and have never had a good 
time. This irresponsible youngster has had 
nothing but good times and now, when he 
comes home after having rim through his 
money, they give him a party. It’s wrong.” 

The father did not defend the younger son, 
but he rebuked the elder. That was what hmrl 
the smugly complacent members of the audience 
to whom Jesus told the story. The implication 
was too plain. “There are two ways in which 
a man may waste his life,” the story said m ef- 
fect. “One is to run away from your responsi- 
bilities, causing sorrow to your parents and 
hurt to your associates, killing your finer na- 

74 



THE SOCIABLE MAN 


ture. That is wrong, and a man must repent 
of such conduct and change his life if he is to 
be received again into his Father’s house. 

“But the other thing is equally wrong. God 
is a generous Giver, and selfish getting is sin. 
God laughs in the simshine and sings through 
the throats of birds. They who neither laugh 
nor sing are out of tune with the Infinite. God 
has exercised all his ingenuity in making the 
world a pleasant place. Those who find no 
pleasure and give none offer Him a constant af- 
front. However precise their conduct, their 
spirits are an offense. . . . Woe to you. Scribes 
and Pharisees. You are painfully careful to 
give exactly one-tenth of your incomes to the 
Temple, figuring down to fractions of pennies. 
But you neglect the weightier matters of the 
law — ^the supreme obligation to leave the world 
a little more cheerful because you have passed 
through.” 

This was his message — happy God, wanting 
His sons and daughters to be happy. 

Jesus grew tremendously sure of himself as 

76 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

his ministry progressed. No passages in all lit- 
erature are more scathing than his denunciations 
of the cheerless, self-righteous Pharisees. They 
smarted imder the sting, and the crowds laughed 
at their discomfiture and cheered the young man 
who dared to call himself the greatest of the 
prophets and still proclaimed that life is a gift 
to be enjoyed, not a penance to be served. All 
achieving characters have a sublime disregard of 
criticism. “Never explain; never retract; never 
apologize; get it done and let them howl,” was 
the motto of a great Englishman. It might well 
have been the motto of Jesus. “No man can ex- 
pect to accomplish anything if he stands in ter- 
ror of public opinion,” he said in substance. 
“People will talk against you no matter how you 
live or what you do. Look at John the Baptist. 
He came neither eating nor drinking and they 
said he had a devil. I come both eating and 
drinking, and what do they call me? A wine 
bibber and a gluttonous man I” 

He must have told it as a joke on himself and 
on John, though the Gospels do not say so. In- 

76 



THE SOCIABLE MAN 

deed we must often wonder how much of his 
humor has been lost to us by the literal minded- 
ness of his chroniclers. How about that inci- 
dent, for example, at the pool of Bethesda? The 
pool was in Jerusalem near the sheep market 
and was supposed to have magic properties. 
Hundreds of sick people were left along the 
edges to wait for the moment when the waters 
would be stirred by the visit of an angel from 
Heaven; whoever managed to get into the water 
first, after the stirring, was healed. Passing by 
it one afternoon Jesus heard the whining voice 
of an old fellow who had been lying there for 
thirty-eight years. Every time the pool stirred, 
he made a half-hearted effort to jump in; but 
there was always some one with more determina- 
tion, or more helpful friends. So the old chap 
would drop back on to his couch and bemoan his 
hard luck. He was bemoaning it on this day 
when Jesus stopped and looked at him with a 
whimsical smile. 

“Wilt thou be made whole?” Jesus demanded. 

The old man was instantly resentful. What 

77 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

an absurd question! Of course he wanted to be 
made whole! Hadn’t he been trying for thirty- 
eight years? Why annoy him with such an im- 
pertinence? 

The smile on the face of Jesus broadened. He 
knew better. Enjoying poor health was the old 
fellow’s profession. He was a marked man in 
those parts; in the daily grumblings, when the 
sufferers aired their complaints, he was the prin- 
cipal speaker. Nobody had as many pains as 
he; no other symptoms were so distressing. Let 
these newcomers take a back seat. His was the 
only original hard luck story. He had been 
there for thirty-eight years. 

The keen eyes of Jesus saw deep into the souls 
of men. There was a twinkle in them now: 

“Get up,” he said briskly, “and walk.” 

The old chap spluttered and grumbled, but 
there was no resisting the command of that pres- 
ence. He rose, discovered to his own amaze- 
ment that he could stand, rolled up his bed and 
moved off. A reverent hush fell on the assem- 
bled crowd, and before they could find their 

78 



THE SOCIABLE MAN 


voices Jesus, too, was gone. The disciples were 
too deeply impressed for comment; they 
dropped back a respectful distance and Jesus 
walked on alone. Suppose they had followed 
closer? Wouldn’t their ears have been startled 
by something suspiciously like a chuckle? . . . 
It was a good joke on the old chap. He imag- 
ined that he’d had hard luck, but his real hard 
luck was just beginning. ... No more of the 
pleasure of self-pity for him. . . . What would 
his folks say that night when he came walking 
in? . . . What a shock to him in the morning 
when they told him that he’d have to go to work! 

The shortest verse in the New Testament is 
“Jesus wept.” That tragic note in his story the 
Gospel record has carefully preserved. How we 
wish it might also have told us what occurred on 
the night after the chronic old grumbler was 
healed. Did Jesus stop suddenly in the middle 
of the supper, and set down his cup, while a 
broad smile spread across his wonderful face? 
If he did the disciples were probably puzzled — 
they were so often puzzled — but surely we have 

79 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

the reverent right to guess what was in his mind* 
as he pictured the home-coming of that cured 
old man. On that evening surely Jesus inmt 
have laughed. 

Some one has said that genius is the ability to 
become a boy again at will. Lincoln had that 
type of genius. Aroimd his table in Washing- 
ton sat the members of his Cabinet silenced by 
their overwhelming sense of responsibility. It 
was one of the most momentous meetings in our 
history. To their amazement instead of ad- 
dressing himself directly to the business in hand, 
Lincoln picked up a volume and began to read 
aloud a delightful chapter of nonsense from 
Artemus Ward. 

Frequent chuckles interrupted the reading, 
but they came only from 'the President. The 
Secretaries were too shocked for expression! 
Humor at such an hour — ^it was well nigh sacri- 
legious! Heedless of their protesting looks, 
Lincoln finished the chapter, closed the book 
and scanned their gloomy faces with a sigh. 

“Gentlemen, why don’t you laugh?” he ex- 

80 



THE SOCIABLE MAH 


claimed. “With the fearful strain that is upon 
me night and day, if I did not laugh I should 
die; and you need this medicine as much as I.” 

With that remark he turned to his tall hat 
which was on the table and drew forth what Sec- 
retary Stanton described as a “little white 
paper.” 

The “little white paper” was the Emancipa- 
tion Proclamation. 

Stanton could scarcely restrain his impulse to 
stalk out of the room. No one of his Cabinet 
really imderstood Lincoln. He was constantly 
scandalizing them by his calm disregard of con- 
vention, and his seemingly prodigal waste of 
time. The friends and advisers of Jesus were 
similarly shocked. How could any one with such 
important business allow himself to be so casual- 
ly interrupted! One of the surest marks of 
greatness, of course, is accessibility and the ap- 
pearance of having an unstinted allowance of 
time. “Extreme busyness is a symptom of de- 
ficient vitality,” says Stevenson. The disciples 
were extremely busy, Judas most of all. He 

81 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


was the treasurer of the group, harassed because 
expenses ran high and there was no certainly of 
to-morrow’s income. Jesus brushed away such 
petty worries with a smile. 

“Consider the lilies of the field,” he exclaimed, 
“they toil not neither do they spin, yet Solomon 
in all his glory was not arrayed like one of 
these.” That was all very poetic, very nice, but 
it did not fool Judas. He knew that you can not 
get anywhere in the world without money and 
it was his job to find the money. The other dis- 
ciples had similar worries. They wanted to get 
it clear as to their relative positions in the new 
Kingdom; they were concerned because out- 
siders, not properly initiated into the organiza- 
tion, were claiming to be followers of Jesus 
and doing miracles in his name. They fretted 
because there was so much work to be done and 
the days too short for doing it. 

But he towered magnificently above it all. 
Wherever he went the children flocked. Pomp 
and circumstances mean nothing to them. They 
are neither attracted by prominence nor awed 

82 



THE SOCIABLE MAN 

in its presence. Their instinct cuts through all 
outward semblance with a keen swift edge; un- 
failingly they comprehend who are real and who 
are not. With a knowledge which is the ac- 
cumulated wisdom of all the ages they recognize 
their friends. 

So they swarmed around, climbing on his 
knees, tugging at his garments, smiling up into 
his eyes, begging to hear more of his stories. It 
was all highly improper and wasteful in the dis- 
ciples’ eyes. With bustling efficiency they has- 
tened to remind him that he had important ap- 
pointments ; tried to push eager mothers back. 

But Jesus would have none of it. “Suffer the 
little children to come xmto me!” he commanded. 
And he added one of those sayings which should 
make so clear the message of his gospel. “They 
are the very essence of the Kingdom of Heav- 
en,” he said, “unless you become like them 
you shall in no wise enter in.” Like them . . . 
like little children . . . laughing . . . joyous 
. . . unaffected . . . trusting implicitly . , . 
Tvith time to be kind. 


83 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

To be sure he was not always in the crowd. 
He had his long hours of withdrawal when, in 
communion with his Father, he refilled the deep 
reservoirs of his strength and love. Toward the 
end he was more preoccupied. He knew months 
in advance that if he made another journey to 
Jerusalem his fate would be sealed; yet he never 
wavered in his decision to make that journey. 
Starting out on it, his mind filled with the ap- 
proaching conflict, his shoulders burdened with 
the whole world’s need, he heard his name called 
out from the roadside in shrill unfamiliar tones. 
“Jesus . . . Jesus . . . thou son of David . . , 
have mercy on me.” 

It was the voice of a useless blind beggar. 
. . . At once the disciples were upon him, com- 
manding silence. Couldn’t he see that the Mas- 
ter was deep in thought? Who was he to inter- 
rupt. . . . Keep still, blind man . . . get back 
where you belong. . . . 

But frantic hope knows no reserve. It was 
the poor fellow’s one possible chance. . . . He 
cared no more for their rebuke than they for his 

84 



THE SOCIABLE MAN 

need. Again the shrill insistent voice: “Jesus, 
thou son of David, have mercy on me.” 

Jesus stopped. 

“Who called my name?” 

“Nobody, Master . . . only a blind beggar 
. . . a worthless fellow . . . Bartimseus . . . 
nobody at all . . . we’ll tend to him.” 

“Bring him here.” 

Trembling with hope he was guided forward. 
The deep rich eyes of the Master looked into 
those sightless eyes. The mind which had been 
buried in the greatest problem with which a 
mind ever wrestled, gave itself unreservedly to 
the problem of one forlorn human life. Here 
was need; and he had time. . . . 

Something more than a hundred years ago a 
sermon was preached in St. John’s Church, New 
York, which dealt very severely with the frail- 
ties of poor human nature, and put forth, with 
unctuous assurance, the promise of eternal pun- 
ishment for a large proportion of the race. 
Among the worshipers was a gentleman of un- 
fortunate reputation but keen mind, whose name 

85 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


lingers unforgettably in our history. As he left 
the church a la,dy spoke to him; 

“What did you think of the sermon, Mr, 
Burr?” she asked. 

“I think,” responded Aaron Burr, “that God 
is better than most people suppose.” 

That was the message of Jesus — ^that God is 
supremely better than anybody had ever dared 
to believe. Not a petulant Creator, who had lost 
control of his creation and, in wrath, was deter- 
mined to destroy it all. Not a stern Judge dis- 
pensing impersonal justice. Not a vain King 
who must be flattered and bribed into conces- 
sions of mercy. Not a rigid Accoxmtant, check- 
ing up the sins against the penances and strik- 
ing a cold hard balance. Not any of these . . . 
nothing like these . . . but a great Companion, 
a wonderful Friend, a kindly indulgent, joy-lov- 
ing Father. . . . 

For three years Jesus walked up and down 
the shores of his lake and through the streets of 
towns and cities, trying to make them xmder- 
stand. Then came the end, and almost before 

86 



THE SOCIABLE MAN 

his fine firm flesh was cold, the distortion began. 
He who had cared nothing for ceremonies and 
forms was made the idol of formalism. Men hid 
themselves in monasteries; they lashed them- 
selves with whips; they tortured their skins with 
harsh garments and cried out that they were fol- 
lowers of him — of him who loved the crowd, 
who gathered chUdren about him wherever he 
went, who celebrated the calling of a new dis- 
ciple with a feast in which aU the neighborhood 
joined! “Hold your heads high,” he had ex- 
claimed, “you are lords of the universe . . . 
only a little lower than the angels . . . children 
of God.” But the hymn writers knew better. 
They wrote : 

“Oh to be nothing, nothing" 

and 

“For such a worm as I.” 

His last supper with his disciples was an hour of 
solemn memories. Their minds were heavy with 
foreboding. He talked earnestly, but the whole 

87 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


his faith in that handful of followers? By what 
methods had he trained them? What had they 
learned from him of the secrets of influencing 
men? 

We speak of the law of “supply and demand,” 
but the words have got turned around. With 
anything which is not a basic necessity the sup- 
ply always precedes the demand. Elias Howe 
invented the sewing machine, but it nearly rusted 
away before American women could be per- 
suaded to use it. With their sewing finished so 
quickly what would they ever do with their 
spare time? Howe had vision, and had made 
his vision come true; but he could not sell I So 
his biographer paints a tragic picture — ^the man 
who had done more than any other in his gen- 
eration to lighten the labor of women is forced 
to attend the fimeral of the woman he loved in 
a borrowed suit of clothes! Nor are men less 
stubborn than women in opposition to the 
new idea. The typewriter had been a demon- 
strated success for years before business men 
could be persuaded to buy it. How could any 

90 



HIS METHOD 


one have letters enough to justify the invest- 
ment of one himdred dollars in a writing ma- 
chine? Only when the Remingtons sold the 
Caligraph Company the right to manufacture 
machines imder the Remington patent, and two 
groups of salesmen set forth in competition, was 
the resistance broken down. 

Almost every invention has had a similar bat- 
tle. Said Robert Fulton of the Clermont: 

“As I had occasion daily to pass to and from 
the shipyard where my boat was in progress, I 
often loitered near the groups of strangers and 
heard various inquiries as to the object of this 
new vehicle. The language was imiformly that 
of scorn, sneer or ridicule. The loud laugh often 
rose at my expense; the dry jest; the wise cal- 
culations of losses or expenditures; the dull 
repetition of ‘Fulton’s Folly.’ Never did a 
single encouraging remark, a bright hope, a 
warm wish cross my path.” 

That is the kind of human beings we are — 
wise in our own conceit, impervious to sugges- 
tions, perfectly siure that what’s never been done 

91 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

never will be done. Nineteen hundred years ago 
we were even more impenetrable, for modem 
science has frequently shot through the hard 
shell of our complacency. . . . "To the whole 
creation" . . . Assuredly there was no demand 
for a new religion; the world was already over- 
supplied. And Jesus proposed to send forth 
eleven men and expect them to substitute his 
thinking for all existing religious thought ! 

In this great act of courage he was the suc- 
cessor, and the surpasser, of aU the prophets 
who had gone before. We spoke a moment ago 
of the prophets as deficient in humor; but what 
they lacked in the amenities of life they made up 
richly in vision. Each one of them brought to 
the world a revolutionary idea, and we can not 
understand truly the significance of the work of 
Jesus unless we remember that he began where 
they left off, building on the firm foundations 
they had laid. Let us glance at them a moment, 
starting with Moses. What a miracle he 
wrought in the thinking of his race! The world 
was full of gods in his day — male gods, female 

92 



HIS METHOD 


gods, wooden and iron gods — ^it was a poverty 
stricken tribe which could not boast of a hundred 
at least. The human mind had never been able 
to leap beyond the idea that every natural 
phenomenon was the expression of a different 
deity. Along came Moses with one of the tran- 
scendent intellects of history. “There is one 
God,” he cried. What an overwhelming idea 
and how magnificent its consequences. Taking 
a disorganized crowd of folks who had been 
slaves in Egypt for generations — ^their spirits 
broken by rule and rod — ^Moses persuaded them 
that God, this one aU-powerful God, was their 
special friend and protector, fired them with 
faith in that conviction and transformed them 
from slaves to conquerors! 

Moses died and the nation carried on under 
the momentum which he had given it, until there 
arose Amos, a worthy successor. 

“There is one God,” Moses had said. 

“God is a God of justice,” added Amos. 

That assertion is such an elementary part of 
our consciousness that we are almost shocked bp?' 

93 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

the suggestion that it could ever have been new. 
But remember the gods that were current in 
Amos’s day if you would have a true measure 
of the importance of his contribution — ^the gods 
of the Greeks, for example. Zeus was chief of 
them, a philandering old reprobate who visited 
his wrath upon such mortals as were imlucky 
enough to interfere in his love affairs, and threw 
his influence to whichever side offered the larg- 
est bribes. His wife and sons and daughters 
were no better; nor was the moral standard of 
the God of the Israelites very much superior 
until Amos came. He was a trading God, ready 
to offer so much victory for so many sacrifices, 
and insistent upon his prerogatives. It was the 
high privilege of Amos to proclaim a God who 
could not be bought, whose ears were deaf to 
pleadings if the cause was unfair, who would 
show no discrimination in judgment between the 
strong and weak, the rich and poor. It was 
a stupendous conception but Amos persuaded 
men to accept it, and it has remained a part of 
our spiritual heritage. 


94 



HIS METHOD 


Years passed and Hosea spoke. His had not 
been a happy life. His wife deserted him; 
heartbroken and vengeful he was determined to 
cast her off forever. Yet his love would not let 
him do it. He went to her, forgave her, and 
took her back. Then in his hours of lonely 
brooding a great thought came to himl If he, 
a mere man could love so unselfishly one who 
had broken faith with him, must not God be 
Capable of as great, or greater forgiveness, 
toward erring human beings? The thought 
fired his imagination; he stood up before the na- 
tion and proclaimed it with bmning zeal — ^a God 
so strong that he could destroy, yet so tender 
that he would not I 

One God. 

A just God. 

A good God. 

These were the three steps in the development 
of the greatest of all ideas. Hundreds of gen- 
erations have died since the days of Moses, of 
Amos and Hosea. The thought of the world on; 
almost every other subject has changed; but the 

95 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

Conception of God which these three achieved 
has remained in control of men’s thinking down 
to this very hour. 

What was there for Jesus to add? Only one 
thought, but it was so much more splendid than 
all which had gone before that it has altered the 
current of history. He invited frail bewildered 
humanity to stand upright and look at God face 
to face! He called upon men to throw away 
fear, disregard the limitations of their mortality, 
and claim the Lord of Creation as Father. It 
is the basis of all revolt, all democracy. For if 
God is the Father of all men, then all are his 
children and hence the commonest is equally as 
precious as the king. No wonder the author!' 
ties trembled. They were not fools ; they recog« 
nized the implications of the teaching. Either 
Jesus’ life or their power must go. No wonder 
that succeeding generations of authorities have 
embroidered his Idea and corrupted it, so that 
the simplest faith in the world has become a 
complex thing of form and ritual, of enforced 
observances and “thou shall nots.” It was too 

96 



HIS METHOD 


dangerous a Power to be allowed to wander the 
world, unleashed and uncontrolled. 

This then was what Jesus wished to send to 
all creation, through the instrumentality of his 
eleven men. What were his methods of train- 
ing? How did he meet prospective believers? 
How did he deal with objections? By what sort 
of strategy did he interest and persuade? 

He was making the journey back from Jeru- 
salem after his spectacular triximph in cleansing 
the Temple, when he came to Jacob’s Well, and 
being tired, sat down. His disciples had stopped 
behind at one of the villages to purchase food, 
so he was alone. The well furnished the water- 
supply for the neighboring city of the Samari- 
tans, and after a little time a woman came out 
to it, carrying her pitcher on her shoulder. Be- 
tween her people, the Samaritans, and his peo- 
ple, the Jews, there was a feud of centuries. To 
be touched by even the shadow of a Samaritan 
was defilement according to the strict code of 
the Pharisees ; to speak to one was a crime. The 
woman made no concealment of her resentment 

97 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


at finding him there. Almost any remark from 
his lips would have kindled her anger. She 
would at least have turned away in scorn; she 
might have summoned her relatives and driven 
him off. 

An impossible situation, you will admit. How 
could he meet it ? How give his message to one 
who was forbidden by everything holy to listen? 
The incident is very revealing: there are times 
when any word is the wrong word; when only 
silence can prevail. Jesus knew well this pre- 
cious secret. As the woman drew closer he made 
no move to indicate that he was conscious of her 
approach. His gaze was on the groxmd. When 
he spoke it was quietly, musingly, as if to him- 
self: 

*Tf you knew who I am,” he said, “you would 
not need to come out here for water. I would 
give you living water.” 

The woman stopped short, her interest chal- 
lenged in spite of herself; she set down the 
pitcher and looked at the stranger. It was a 
burning hot day; the well was far from the city; 

9.S 



HIS METHOD 

she was heated and tired. What did he mean 
by such a remark? She started to speak, cheeked 
herself and burst out impulsively, her curiosity 
overleaping her caution: 

“What are you talking about? Do you mean 
to say you are greater than our father Jacob 
who gave us this well? Have you some magic 
that will save us this long walk in the sun?” 

Dramatic, isn’t it — ^a single sentence achiev- 
ing triumph, arousing interest and creating de- 
sire. With sure instinct he followed up his 
initial advantage. He began to talk to her in 
terms of her own life, her ambitions, her hopes, 
knowing so well that each of us is interested first 
of all and most of all in himself. When the dis- 
ciples came up a few minutes later they found an 
unbelievable sight — a Samaritan listening with 
rapt attention to the teaching of a Jew. 

He prepared to go but she would not allow 
it. Running back to the city she summoned her 
brothers and relatives. 

“Come,” she cried, “and see a man who told 
me all things that ever I did.” 

99 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

They followed her out to the well — ^these prej- 
udiced, reluctant men and women who, an hour 
before, would have thought it incredible that 
they should ever hold conversation with one of 
their traditional enemies. Suspiciously at first 
but with steadily ascending interest they lis- 
tened to his talk. It is said that great leaders 
are born, not made. The saying is true to this 
degree, that no man can persuade people to do 
what he wants them to do, unless he genuinely 
likes people, and believes that what he wants 
them to do is to their own advantage. The secret 
of Jesus’ success was an affection for folks 
which so shone in his eyes and rang in his tones, 
that even the commonest man in a crowd felt in- 
stinctively that here was a friend. . . . The 
afternoon shadows lengthened while he talked. 
Other citizens, attracted by the gathering, made 
their way out to the well and added themselves 
to the audience. It came time for the evening 
meal; again he prepared to go. They would not 
hear of it. He must be their guest, meet their 
neighbors, tell them more, persuade them further I 

100 



HIS METHOD 


“They besought him to abide with them; and 
he abode there two days.” 

Some years later a tired pilgrim arrived in the 
up-to-date and perfectly self-satisfied city of 
Athens. He arrived on foot because he had no 
car-fare. His shoes were sadly worn and his 
clothing imkempt and covered with dust. One 
would say that these disadvantages were enough 
to disqualify him for success in a town so smart 
and critical, but he had other handicaps more 
fundamental. He was too short and thickset to 
be impressive; his eyes had a decided squint; al- 
together he was not at all the kind of man who 
commands respect before a crowd. That he 
should come to the most sophisticated center of 
the ancient world and expect to make an im- 
pression was extraordinary. The principal busi- 
ness of the clever gentlemen of that city was 
standing around the market-place, there to 
“hear or to teU some new thing.” They were the 
joke-makers and fashion-setters of their era. 
They originated new ideas; they did not buy 
them from the provinces. And as for mvesting 

101 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

in a new religion — ^they had hundreds of reli- 
gions, some new, some fairly new, some old, but 
all entirely xmused. 

A fine appreciative atmosphere for the for- 
eign visitor named Paul. See him trudging 
along through the subrnhs and up toward the 
center of the town. Poor little chap ; wait until 
the wise ones catch sight of him; they wiU cer- 
tainly make a fine afternoon’s sport! 

Straight on he marched until he reached Mars 
Hill, the Broadway and Forty-second Street 
corner of town. A few of the clever ones gath- 
ered about, moved by the same cynical curiosity 
which would have prompted them to look at a 
sword swallower or a three legged calf. The 
critical moment had come. Paul must say some- 
thing, and no matter what he said, it would be 
wrong. Suppose he had begun in the usual way; 
“Good morning, gentlemen, I have something 
new in the way of a religion which I’d like to 
explain, if you’ll give me just a minute of your 
time.” A boisterous laugh would have ended 
his talk ... a new religion . . . what did they 
care about that? 


102 



HIS METHOD 


But Paul knew the psychology of the crowd. 

“Men of Athens, I congratulate you on hav- 
ing so many fine religions.” Nothing in that to 
which any one coidd take offense. The sophisti- 
cated pressed up a little closer; what was the 
chap driving at, anyhow? “I’ve traveled about 
quite a bit and your assortment is larger and 
better than I have seen anywhere else. For as 
I passed up your main street I noticed that you 
not only have altars erected to aU the regular 
gods and goddesses; you even have one dedi- 
cated to the UNKNOWN GOD. 

“Let me tell you an interesting coincidence, 
gentlemen. This God whom you worship with- 
out knowing his name, is the very God whom I 
represent.” 

Can you see the crowd? C3mical but curious; 
eager to turn the whole thing into a joke, yet 
unw illing to miss a chance to hear the latest. 
Paul stopped short for a moment and voices 
called out demanding that he go on. It appears 
later in the narrative that after his talk was over 
“some mocked, and others said, ‘We will hear 

103 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


thee again of this matter.’ ” It was not a com- 
plete victory such as his Master had achieved at 
Jacob’s Well; but the audience which had con- 
fronted Paul was hostile, and his initial success 
so cleverly won, that this story deserves a place 
beside the one which we have just related. To- 
gether they help us to understand the great 
mystery — ^liow a religion, originating in a de- 
spised province of a petty country, could so 
quickly carry around the world. It conquered 
not because there was any demand for another 
religion but because Jesus knew how, and taught 
his followers how, to catch the attention of the 
indifferent, and translate a great spiritual con- 
ception into terms of practical self-concern. 

Surely no one will consider us lacking in 
reverence if we say that every one of the “prin- 
ciples of modern salesmanship” on which busi- 
ness men so much pride themselves, are bril- 
liantly exemplified in Jesus’ talk and work. 
The first of these and perhaps the most im- 
portant is the necessity for “putting yoiuself in 
step with your prospect.” A great sales mana- 
ger used to illustrate it in this way; 

104 



HIS METHOD 


“When you want to get aboard a street car 
which is already in motion, you don’t run at it 
from right angles and try to make the platform 
in one wild leap,” he would say. “If you do, 
you are likely to find yourself on the floor. No, 
You run along beside the car, increasing your 
pace until you are moving just as rapidly as it 
is moving and in the same direction. Then you 
step aboard easily, without danger or jolt. 

“The minds of busy men are in motion,” he 
would continue. “They are engaged with some- 
thing very different from the thought you have 
to present. You can’t jump directly at them 
and expect to make an effective landing. You 
must put yourself in the other man’s place; try 
to imagine what he is thinking; let your first re- 
mark be in line with his thoughts; follow it by 
another with which you know he will easily 
agree. Thus, gradually, yoin: two minds reach 
a point where they can join without conflict. 
You encourage him to say ‘y®®*’ and ‘yes’ and 
‘that’s right’ and ‘I’ve noticed that myself,’ until 
he says the final ‘yes’ which is your favorable 
decision.” 


105 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


Jesus taught all this without ever teaching it. 
Every one of his conversations, every contact 
between his mind and others, is worthy of the 
attentive study of any sales manager. Passing 
along the shores of a lake one day, he saw two 
of the men whom he wanted as disciples. Their 
minds were in motion; their hands were busy 
with their nets; their conversation was about 
conditions in the fishing trade, and the prospects 
of a good market for the day’s catch. To have 
broken in on such thinking with the offer of 
employment as preachers of a new religion 
would have been to confuse them and invite a 
certain rebuff. What was Jesus’ approach? 

“Come with me,” he said, “and I will make 
you fishers of men.” 

Fishers . . . that was a word they could un- 
derstand . . . fishers of men . . . that was a 
new idea . . . what was he driving at . . . fish" 
ers of men ... it soimded interesting , . . 
well, what is it, anyway? 

He sat on a hillside overlooking a fertile 
country. Many of the crowd who gathered 

106 



HIS METHOD 


around him were farmers, with their wives and 
sons and daughters. He wanted their interest 
and attention; it was important to make them 
understand, at the very outset, that what he had 
to say was nothing vague or theoretical hut of 
direct and immediate apphcation to their daily 
lives. 

“A sower went forth to sow,” he began, “and 
when he sowed some seeds fell by the wayside 
and the fowls came and devoured them up. . . 
Were they interested . . . were they? Every 
man of them had gone through that experience 
. . . the thievish crows . . . many a good 
day’s work they had spoiled. ... So this 
Teacher knew something about the troubles that 
farmers had to put up with, did he? Fair enough 
. . . let’s hear what he has to say. . . . 

It would be easy to multiply examples, takmg 
each of his parables and pointing out the keen 
knowledge of hmnan motives on which it iS, 
based. In a later chapter we shall have some- 
thing more to say of these parables — ^the mos^ 
powerful advertisements of all time. For our 

107 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


present purpose the examples already given arft 
enough. They show how instantly he won his 
audiences. With his very first sentence he put 
himself in step with them; it was invariably a 
thought in line with their own thinking, easy for 
even the dullest to understand, and shrewdly 
calculated to awaken an appetite for more. 

Every salesman knows the value of being able 
to sense an objection and meet it before it is ad- 
vanced. Jesus knew that far better. He went 
one night to dine with a prominent Pharisee. 
His presence in any house attracted strangers 
who found it easy under the less rigid conven- 
tions of those days, to make their way into the 
room, where they could watch him and listen. 
Thus, while the Pharisee’s dinner was in prog- 
ress, a certain woman of unfortunate experience 
crept into the room and kneeling down by Jesus 
began to bathe his feet with precious ointment 
and wipe them with her hair. Jesus knew what 
that outburst of unselfishness meant to an over- 
burdened spirit, and accepted the tribute with 
gracious dignity, even though its emotional 

108 



HIS METHOD 


warmth must have been embarrassing. But all 
the time he was perfectly well aware of the 
thoughts that were passing through the self- 
satisfied mind of his host. 

“Ah,” said that cynical gentleman to himself, 
“if he were a prophet he would have known that 
this woman is a sinner, and would have refused 
to let her touch him.” 

He might have been tempted to put his 
thought into words, but he never had a chance. 
Quick as a flash Jesus turned on him; 

“Simon, I have somewhat to say to thee.** 

“Teacher, say on.” It was a half concealed 
sneer. 

“There was a man who had two debtors,” said 
Jesus. “One owed him five hundred shillings 
and the other fifty. Neither could pay and he 
forgave them both. Which of them, do you 
think, will love him most?” 

Simon sensed a trap, and moved cautiously, 

“I imagine the one who owed him the most,” 
said he, and wondered what was coming next. 

“Bight,” said Jesus. “Simon, seest thou this 
woman?” 


109 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


Simon nodded. He began to wish the con- 
versation had not started. 

“When I came into your house, you gave me 
no water for my feet,” Jesus continued with 
that extraordinary frankness which cut straight 
to the heart of things. “But she has washed my 
feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. 
You gave me no kiss, but she has not ceased to 
kiss my feet. You poured none of your ex- 
pensive oil on my head, but she has taken her 
precious ointment, which she could ill-afford, 
and anointed me.” 

Simon squirmed in his seat. It was not com- 
fortable to be reminded before a crowd of his 
delinquencies as a host. He had invited this “in- 
teresting” ex-carpenter because it was quite the 
fad to invite him. But the whole atmosphere 
had been one of condescension — ^the tmspoken 
intimation was, “Here’s a good dinner; now go 
on and amuse us with your ideas.” There had 
been none of the niceties; the rich are so weD 
accustomed to being inconsiderate! 

The dining-room was silent; every eye was 
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HIS METHOD 


turned upon the Teacher; the poor woman still 
knelt at his feet, embarrassed that her action 
should have caused so much comment, wonder- 
ing if the incident was to end in a rebuke. Jesus 
did not look down at her ; he was not yet through 
with Simon. 

“She is like the debtor who owed the five hun- 
dred shillings,” he said. “Her sins which are 
many are forgiven, for she loved much. To 
whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” 
And then with a glance of infinite tenderness; 

“Thy sins are forgiven,” he said to her simply. 
“Thy faith has saved thee; go in peace.” 

It is easy to imagine that the conversation 
rather dragged during the remainder of the 
meal. Even very supercilious and self-assured 
gentlemen hesitated to expose themselves to the 
thrusts of a mind which could anticipate crit- 
icisms before they were uttered, and deal witii 
them so crisply. 

On other occasions he won his case with a sin- 
gle question — one of the best weapons in the 
whole armory of persuasion and all too infre- 

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THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

quently employed. How often a blundering ad- 
vocate allows himself to be dragged into futile 
argument, when by throwing the burden back 
on to his opponent’s shoulders he could attain an 
easy mastery. Jesus seldom argued. The rec- 
ord of his questions is a fruitful study for all of 
us who, in our every-day affairs, must deal with 
other minds. Let us recall two of those ques- 
tions. 

The Pharisees set a trap for him. One Sab- 
bath day they hxmted up a man with a withered 
hand and deposited him in the Temple where 
Jesus would be sure to pass. Then they waited. 
If Jesus healed him, it would be a breach of the 
Code, which forbade any activity on the Sab- 
bath. They would have that to recall when the 
crisis came. Jesus sensed the test and met it 
without hesitation. 

“Stand forth,” he said to the poor chap. 

The bigoted formalists pushed in close. This 
was their moment. They had dug the pit clev- 
erly and now he was about to fall in. The soft 
light went out of Jesus’ eyes, the muscles of his 

112 



HIS METHOD 


jaw grew tense, he looked “round on them with 
anger,” as he demanded: 

"Is it lawful on the Sabbath day to do good 
or to do harm? To save a life or to kill?” 

He waited for an answer but none came. 
What could they say? If they replied that the 
law forbade a good deed, their answer would be 
repeated all over town. The crowd of common 
folks who followed him were his friends, not 
theirs — only too glad to spread a story which 
would cast discredit on the proud defenders of 
the law. The Pharisees had sense enough to 
recognize that fact, at least. They “held their 
peace,” and sullenly slipped away. 

On another day it was his own disciples who 
learned how he could compress a whole philos- 
ophy into a well-directed interrogation. They 
were by no means free from the frailties of or- 
dinary hiunan nature. They fussed about little 
things — arguing among themselves as to who 
should have preeminence; wondering how their 
bills were to be met, and just where the whole 
enterprise was coming out. 

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THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

He brought them up short with a question. 

“Which of you by being anxious can add a 
single day to his life?” he demanded. “And if 
you can’t do this simple thing, why worry about 
the rest? Consider the ravens; they don’t sow 
or reap ; they have no store-houses or barns, and 
yet God takes care of them. Don’t you suppose 
that you are of more value in his sight than a 
flock of birds?” 

How trivial seemed their concern and contro- 
versy after a question like that! 

In all the three years of his public work there 
was not one moment when he failed to be com- 
plete master of the situation. He was accessible 
to anybody — ^in the market-place, in the temple 
and on the main streets — fair game for the keen 
and clever. It became quite a recognized sport 
to match wits with him. Pharisees tried it; 
Scribes tried it; “a certain lawyer” tried it. Al- 
ways they came off second best. At length the 
very chiefs of the priests came one afternoon. 
Lesser antagonists had gone down; now the 
leaders themselves would take the matter in 

114 



HIS METHOD 


hand. They would demolish this presmnptuous 
upstart; by the splendor of their presence and 
their offices, they would awe him into line. 

“By what authority do you do these things,” 
they demanded bruskly, “and who gave you 
this authority?” 

If they expected him to yield an inch they re- 
ceived the surprise of their lives. His retort was 
instantaneous. 

“I’U ask you a question,” he exclaimed, “and 
if you answer it, then I’ll tell you by what au- 
thority I work. Answer me now, what about 
John; was his work in baptizing inspired by 
Heaven or by men?” 

They caught their breath. Their heads came 
together; excited and disturbing whispers were 
exchanged. What should they say? If we an- 
swer that John had come from Heaven, he will 
say, “Well, why then didn’t you believe him?” 
If we say, that he came from men, this crowd of 
fools will tear us to pieces, because every last 
one of them believes that John was a prophet. 
What shall we do? Better teU him we don’t 

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THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

know; better get out of here as quickly as we 
can. 

“We don’t know,” they muttered. 

“All right,” said Jesus serenely. “You don’t 
answer my question. Neither will I answer 
yours.” 

It was a perfect triumph. Amid the jeers of 
the delighted crowd they gathered up their fine 
robes and went away. 

You would think as you read the narratives 
that the wise ones would have been wise enough 
to let him alone. Even a child having burned 
its fingers once, knows enough to avoid the fire. 
But their jealousy and anger drove them back 
again and again; and every time he was too 
much for them. In the very last week the 
“Pharisees and Herodians” gathered together a 
picked delegation of sharp wits and sent them 
with what looked like an absolutely fool-proof 
bomb. They started in with flattery; after all 
he was a simple fellow from the provinces — ^a 
few kind words and his head would be turned. 
Then they would catch him off his guard. 

'’Teacher, we know that you speak the truth,*' 
116 



HIS METHOD 


rtiey said, “and that you don’t care anything 
about the authority or office which a man holds. 
You treat them all alike, and speak your mind 
blimtly because you get your thoughts direct 
from God. 

“Now, tell us, is it lawful to give tribute imto 
Caesar or not?” 

Very clever, gentlemen, very clever indeed. 
If he answers that it isn’t lawful, you will have 
the record of his reply in Herod’s hands in an 
hour; and instantly he will be imder arrest for 
propagating rebellion against the Roman pow- 
er; if he answers that it is lawful, he wiU lose his 
popular following. Because the people hate the 
Romans, and dodge the taxes at every turn 
. . . very, very clever. 

He looked at them with frank contempt, as 
if to say, “Do you really think I am quite as 
simple as all that?” 

“Somebody lend me a coin,” he exclaimed. An 
eager listener dug into his pocket and produced 
it. Jesus held it up where all could see. 

“Whose picture is that?” he demanded. 
“Whose name?” 


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THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


They began to be uneasy. The shrewdest 
suspected that the path was leading toward the 
precipice, yet there was no escape. They must 
answer. “Caesar’s,” they replied. 

“Very good,” said he ironically. “Render 
unto C£esar the things that are Caesar’s and 
unto God the things that are God’s.” 

Another repulse for the best legal talent in 
the city . . . another good laugh for the crowd 
. . . another story to tell in the taverns, in the 
Temple court, in the market-place . . . wher- 
ever the common folks crowded together. . . , 
Says the narrative describing the defeated ques- 
tioners: “they marveled greatly at him.” . . . 
and in another place . . . “and no man after 
that durst ask him any question.” Every objec- 
tion had been turned back upon the objectors; 
every trap had sprung upon the fingers of those 
who set it. No argument was left for them ex- 
cept the final one which is always a confession 
of failure. They had the brute force on their 
side. They could not stand against his t hinking 
but they could, and did, nail him on the cross. 

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HIS METHOD 


Not in time, howcTer. Not until his work was 
finished. Not until he had trained and equipped 
a force which would carry on with double power 
because of the very fact of his death. . . . Every 
year in our country there are thousands of con- 
ventions — ^political, charitable, business. Most 
of them are a waste. They are conducted on 
the false assumption that over-selling and ex- 
aggeration are potent forces — ^that the energies 
of men respond most powerfully to promises of 
easy victory and soft rewards. The great leaders 
of the world have known better. 

Gideon, for example. When he called for vol- 
unteers to fight the Midianites, thirty-two thou- 
sand responded. Gideon looked them over crit- 
ically. He knew the conflicting motives that 
had brought them there — some from mere love 
of adventure; some because they were afraid to 
be taunted with cowardice; some for plimder; 
some to get away from their wives. He deter- 
mined to weed them out at once; 

“Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him go, 
home to-night,** he proclaimed. 

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THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

The next morning twenty-two thousand had 
vanished. Only ten thousand remained. 

Still Gideon was unsatisfied. He hit upon a 
stratagem. Down the hillside and across a little 
brook he led the whole band. It was a hot 
morning; the men were thirsty and tired; and 
Gideon, standing on the bank and watching, had 
a shrewd idea that character would show itself 
under the strain. Sure enough, of the ten thou- 
sand, a vast majority knelt down and pushed 
their faces into the cool clear water, taking long 
refreshing draughts. But a few were too eager. 
They caught up the water in their hands, dashed 
it into their faces, and hurried across to the other 
bank, restless to be on! 

Only a handful; only three hundred. But 
Gideon kept them and sent the rest home. Bet- 
ter three hundred who could not be held back 
from the battle than ten thousand who were 
merely half-heartedly ready to go. 

With the three himdred he won. 

That higher type of leadership which calls 
forth men’s greatest energies by the promise of 

120 



HIS METHOD 


obstacles rather than the picture of rewards — 
that was the leadership of Jesus. By it he tem- 
pered the soft metal of bis disciples’ nature into 
keen hard steel. The final conference with 
which he prepared them for their work is thrill- 
ing in its majestic appeal to courage. Listen to 
the calm recital of the deprivations and dangers : 


Get you no gold, nor silver, nor brass in your 
piu*ses. 

No wallet for your journey; neither two 
coats, nor shoes nor staff. 

Behold I send you forth as sheep in the midst 
of wolves. 

Beware of men: for they will deliver you up 
to councils and in their s3magogues they will 
scourge you; yea and before governors and 
kings shall ye be brought for my sake. 


He that loveth father or mother more than 
me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son 
or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 
And he that doth not take his cross and follow 
after me is not worthy of me. 

He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he 
that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. 

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THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


Watch the faces and the figures. See the 
shoulders straighten, the muscles of the lips 
grow hard. There is power in those faces that 
will not be withstood — power bom of the most 
transforming appeal which ever fell on human 
ears. The voice of the speaker was stilled at the 
cross, but the power carried on. It withstood 
prisons and scourging; ship-wreck and weari- 
ness; public condemnation and the loss of per- 
sonal friends; chains, and the roar of lions and 
the flames. James was the first to die. Herod 
Agrippa killed him. His brother John, impris- 
oned for years on the stony island of Patmos, 
suffered martyrdom amidst frightful torture. 
Andrew died on a cross whose pattern bears his 
name to this day. Simon Peter insisted that he 
be crucified head downward, deeming himself 
unworthy to suffer in the manner of his Lord. 
Nero stilled the voice of Paul by beheading him; 
but the spirit of Paul which had proclaimed that 
“we are in all things more than conquerors,” be- 
gan at that moment to have its larger influence. 

Just a few brief years and every member of 
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HIS METHOD 


the original organization was gone, but the 
“blood of the martyrs was the seed of the 
church.” The Master’s training had done its 
work. 

The great Idea prevailed. 



CHAPTER V 


His Adveetisements 

He waSj as we say, “many sided,” and every 
man sees the side of his nature which appeals 
most to himself. 

The doctor thinks of the great physician 
whose touch never failed, who by some mystery 
preceded modern science in its still imperfect 
knowledge of the relation of the spirit to health. 
The preacher studies the Sermon on the Mount 
and marvels that truths so profotmd should be 
expressed in words so clear and simple. The 
agitator remembers only that he denounced the 
rich; and the communist that his disciples car- 
ried a common purse. Lawyers have written in 
praise of his pleading at his trial; and the liter- 
ary critics of every age have cheerfully acknowl- 
edged his mastery. 

I am not a doctor, or lawyer or critic but an 
124 



HIS ADVERTISEMENTS 

advertising man. As a profession advertising 
is young; as a force it is as old as the world. The 
first four words ever uttered, “Let there be 
light,’' constitute its charter. All Nature is 
vibrant with its impulse. The brilliant plumage 
of the bird is color advertising addressed to the 
emotions of its mate. Plants deck themselves 
with blossoms, not for beauty only, but to at- 
tract the patronage of the bee and so by spread- 
ing pollen on its wings, to insure the perpetua- 
tion of their kind. 

The spacious firmament on high, 

And all the blue ethereal sky, 

And spangled Heavens a shining frame. 
Their great Original proclaim. 

It has been remarked that “no astronomer can 
be an atheist,” which is only another way of say- 
ing that no man can look up at the first and 
greatest electric sign — ^the eveniag stars — and 
refuse to believe its message: “There is a Cause: 
A God.” I propose in this chapter to speak of 
the advertisements of Jesus which have sturvived 

125 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

for twenty centuries and are still the most potent 
influence in the world. 

Let us begin by asking why he was so suc- 
cessful in mastering public attention and why, 
in contrast, his churches are less so? The an- 
swer is twofold. In the first place he recognized 
the basic principle that all good advertising is 
news. He was never trite or commonplace; he 
had no routine. If there had been newspapers 
in those days, no city editor could have said, “No 
need to visit him to-day; he will be doing just 
what he did last Sxmday.” Reporters would 
have followed him every single hour, for it was 
impossible to predict what he would say or do; 
every action and word were news. 

Take one single day as an example. The four 
gospel narratives are not chronological. They 
are personal records written after his death, not 
diaries in which entries were made every night. 
Thus we can not say of most of the incidents: 
“This happened on such and such a day.” The 
four stories repeat and conflict and overlap. In 
one place, however — ^the ninth chapter of Mat- 

126 



HIS ADVERTISEMENTS 

thew — ^we have a detailed account of a single 
day’s work. One of the events was the calling 
of Matthew himself to discipleship ; hence we 
have every reason to suppose that the writer’s 
memory of this particular day must have been 
more than usually reliable. Let us look at the 
twenty- four hours’ schedule; see how it bristles 
with front-page news. 

The activity begins at sunrise. Jesus was an 
early riser; he knew that the simplest way to live 
more than an average life is to add an hom to 
the fresh end of the day. At sunrise, therefore, 
we discover a little boat pushing out from the 
shore of the lake. It makes its steady way across 
and deposits Jesus and his disciples in Caper- 
naum, his favorite city. He proceeds at once to 
the house of a friend, but not without being dis- 
covered. The report spreads instantly that he 
is in town, and before he can finish breakfast a 
crowd has collected outside the gate — poor 
palsied chap among them. 

The day’s work is at hand. 

Having slept soundly in the open air he meets 
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THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

the call with quiet nerves. The smile that car- 
ried confidence into even the most hopeless heart 
spreads over his features; he stoops down toward 
the sufferer. 

“Be of good cheer, my son,” he cries, “your 
sins are all forgiven.” 

Sins forgiven! Indeed! The respectable 
members of the audience draw back with sharp 
disapproval. “What a blasphemous phrase,” 
they exclaim. “Who authorized him to exercise 
the functions of God? What right has he to de- 
cide whose sins shall be forgiven?” 

Jesus sensed rather than heard their protest. 
He never courted controversy but he never 
dodged it; and much of his fame arose out of the 
reports of his verbal victories. Men have been 
elected to office — even such high office as the 
Presidency — ^by being so good-natured that they 
never made an enemy. But the leaders who are 
remembered are those who had plenty of critics 
and dealt with them vigorously. 

“What’s the objection?” he exclaimed, turn- 
ing on the dissenters. “Why do you stand there 

128 



HIS ADVERTISEMENTS 

and criticize? Is it easier to say, “Thy sins be 
forgiven thee,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up thy bed 
and walk?’ The results are the same.” Bend- 
ing over the sick man again he said : “Arise, take 
up thy bed and go unto thine house.” 

The man stirred and was amazed to find that 
his muscles responded. Slowly, doubtingly he 
struggled to his feet, and with one great shout 
of happiness started off, simrounded by his ju- 
bilant friends. The critics had received their 
answer, but they refused to give up. For an 
hour or more they persisted in angry argument, 
until the meeting ended in a trnnult. 

Can you imagine the next day’s issue of the 
Capernaum News, if there had been one ? 

PALSIED MAN HEALED 
JESUS OF NAZAEETH CLAIMS RIGHT TO 
FORGIVE SINS 

PROMINENT SCRIBES OBJECT 
“blasphemous,” says leading CITIZEN. 
“but anyway I CAN WALK,” HEALED MAN 
RETORTS. 

129 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

Eront page story number one and the day is 
still young. 

One of those who had been attracted by the 
excitement was a tax-collector named Matthew. 
Being a man of business he could not stay 
through the argument, but slipped away early 
and was hard at work when Jesus passed by a 
few minutes before noon. 

“Matthew, I want you,” said Jesus. 

That was aU. No argument; no offer of in- 
ducements; no promise of rewards. Merely “I 
want you;” and the prosperous tax-collector 
closed his office, made a feast for the brilliant 
yoimg teacher and forthwith announced himself 
a disciple. 

* * * 

PEOMINENT TAX COIXECTOE JOINS 
NAZAEETH FOECES 

MATTHEW ABANDONS BUSINESS TO PEOMOTE 
NEW CULT 
* » 


6I7ES LAEQE LUNCHEON 

130 



HIS ADVEKTISEMENTS 

Front page story number two. 

The luncheon itself furnished the third sensa- 
tion. It was not at all the kind of affair which 
a religious teacher would be expected to ap- 
prove. Decidedly it was good-natured and 
noisy. 

No theological test was applied in limit- 
ing the invitation. No one stood at the entrance 
to demand: “What is your belief regarding the 
birth of Jesus?” Or, “Have you or have you 
not been baptized?” The doors were flimg wide, 
and, along with the disciples and the respectable 
folks, a swarm of publicans and sinners trooped 
in. 

“Outrageous,” grumbled the worthy folk. 
“Surely if this teacher had any moral standards 
he never would eat with such rabble.” 

They were shocked; but he was not. That he 
had condemned himself according to their for- 
mula worried him not a whit. His liking for 
folks overran all social boundaries ; he just could 
not seem to remember that some people are nice 
people, proper people, and some are not. 

131 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


“Come, come,” he exclaimed to the Pharisees, 
“won’t you ever get over nagging at me because 
I eat with these outsiders? Who needs the 
doctor most — ^they that are well or they that are 
sick? 

“And here’s another thing to think about,” he 
added. “You lay so much stress on forms and 
creeds and occasions- — do you suppose God cares 
about all that? What do you think he meant 
when he said: T will have mercy and not sacri- 
fice?’ Take that home and puzzle over it.” 

DEPENDS PUBLICANS AND SINNEES 

* * * 

JESUS OP NAZAKETH WELCOMES THEM AT LUNCH 
* * * 

EEBUKES PEOMINENT PHAEISEES 
* » * 

“CKEEDS UNIMPOETANT,” HE SAYS. “gOD WANTS 
MEECY NOT SACEIPICE.” 

A fourth big story. You may be sure it was 
carried into hundreds of homes during the next 

132 



HIS ADVERTISEMENTS 


few weeks, and formed the basis for many a long 
evening’s discussion. 

As the meal drew to its close there came a 
dramatic interruption — a ruler of the city made 
his way slowly to the head of the table and stood 
silent, bowed by the terrible weight of his grief. 
That morning he had sat at his daughter’s bed- 
side, clasping her frail white hand in his, watch- 
ing the flutter of the pulse, trying by the force 
of his longing to hold that little life back from 
the precipice. And at last the doctors had told 
him that it was useless any more to hope. So he 
had come, this ruler, to the strange young man 
whose deeds of healing were the sensation of the 
day. 

Was it too late? The ruler had thought so 
when he entered the door; but as he stood in 
that splendid presence a new thrilling conviction 
gripped him: 

“Master, my daughter is even now dead,” he 
exclaimed, “but come and lay your hand on her 
and she will live.” 

Jesus rose from his seat, drawn by that splen- 

133 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

did outburst of faith and without hesitation or 
questioning he started for the door. All his 
life he seemed to feel that there was no linoit 
at all to what he could do, if only those who 
beseeched him believed enough. Grasping the 
ruler’s arm he led the way up the street, his 
disciples and the motley crowd hurrying along 
behind. 

They had several blocks to travel, and before 
their journey was completed another interrup- 
tion occurred. 

A woman who had been sick for twelve years 
edged through the crowd, eluded the sharp eyes 
of the disciples and touched the hem of his gar- 
ment. “For she said within herself, if I may but 
touch his garment, I shall be whole,” . . . What 
an idea. . . . What a Personality his must have 
been to provoke such ideas. . . . “My daughter 
is dead, but lay your hands on her and she will 
live.” . . . “I’ve been sick for twelve years ; the 
doctors can do nothing, but if I only touch his 
coat I’ll be all right.” . . . How can the art- 
ists possibly have imagined that a sad-faced 

134 



HIS ADVERTISEMENTS 

w^eakling could ever inspire such amazing ideas 
as these! 

The woman won her victory. By that touch, 
by his smile, by the few words he spoke, her faith 
rose triumphant over disease. She “was made 
whole from that hour.” 

Again he moved forward, the crowd pressing 
hard. The ruler’s residence was now in plain 
sight. The paid mourners, hired by the hour, 
were busy about the doorway; they increased 
their activities as their employer came in sight 
— ^hideous wails and the dull sounding of C3rm- 
bals — a horrible pretense of grief. Quickening 
his stride Jesus was in the midst of them. 

“Give place,” he cried with a commanding 
gesture. “The maid is not dead but sleepeth.” 

They laughed him to scorn. Brushing them 
aside he strode into the house and took the little 
girl by the hand. The crowd looked on dum- 
founded, for at the magic of his touch she 
opened her eyes, and sat up. 

Front page stories five and six. A woman 
sick twelve years, and healed! A child whom 

135 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


the doctors had abandoned for dead, sits up and 
smiles! No wonder a thousand tongues were 
busy that night advertising his name and work. 
“The fame thereof went abroad into all that 
land,” says the narrative. Nothing could keep 
it from going abroad. It was irresistible news I 
He was advertised by his service, not by his 
sermons; this is the second noteworthy fact. No- 
where in the Gospels do you find it announced 
that: 


Jesus of Nazareth Will Denounce 
The Scribes and Pharisees in the 
Central Synagogue 
To-night at Eight O’Clock 
Special Music 

His preaching was almost incidental. On only 
one occasion did he deliver a long discourse, and 
that was probably interrupted often by ques- 
tions and debates. He did not come to establish 
a theology but to lead a life. Living more 
healthfully than any of his contemporaries he 
spread health wherever he went. Thinking 

136 



HIS ADVERTISEMENTS 


more daringly, more divinely, he expressed him- 
self in thoughts of surpassing beauty, as natur- 
ally as a plant bursts into bloom. His ser- 
mons, if they may be called sermons, were 
chiefly explanatory of his service. He healed a 
lame man, gave sight to a blind man, fed the 
hungry, cheered the poor; and by these works 
he was advertised much more than by his words. 

The church, which covets advertising and re- 
ceives little, is much more fruitful in such good 
works than the man on the street suspects. Most 
of our colleges were founded under its inspira- 
tion; most of our hospitals grew out of, and are 
supported by, its membership; the ideals that 
animate all civic enterprises are its ideals; and 
its members furnish to such movements the most 
dependable support. More than this, the day 
by day life of any genuine pastor is a constant 
succession of healings and helpings, as any one 
who has been privileged to grow up in a minis- 
ter’s family very weU knows. The door-bell 
rings at breakfast-time; it rings at dinner-time; 
it rings late at night — and every ring means that 

137 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

some one has come to cast his burden upon the 
parsonage. A man comes blinded by his greed 
or hatred or fear — ^Iie opens his heart to the pas- 
tor, and goes away having received his sight. A 
parent whose child is dead in selfishness, comes 
leading the child by the hand. And sometimes 
the preacher is able to touch the withered veins 
of conscience, and life becomes normal and 
wholesome again. A man out of work, whose 
family is hungry, knocks timidly at the parson- 
age door. And somehow, from the parson’s few 
loaves and fishes, the other family is fed. 

These are Jesus’ works, done in Jesus’ name. 
If he were to live again, in these modern days, 
he would find a way to make them known — ^to 
be advertised by his service, not merely by his 
sermons. One thing is certain: he would not 
neglect the market-place. Few of his sermons 
were delivered in synagogues. For the most 
part he was in the crowded places, the Temple 
Court, the city squares, the centers where goods 
were bought and sold. I emphasized this fact 
once to a group of preachers. 

138 



HIS ADVERTISEMENTS 

“You mean that we ought to do street preach- 
ing,” one of them exclaimed. 

But street preaching is not at all analogous to 
what Jesus did. The cities in which he worked 
were both small and leisurely; the market was a 
gathering place where everybody came at some 
time — ^the transfer place for all merchandise and 
for ideas. Where will you find such a market- 
place in modem days? A corner of Fifth Ave- 
nue? A block on Broadway? Only a tiny frac- 
tion of the city’s people pass any given point in 
the down-town district on any given day. A 
man might stand and preach for years at Fifth 
Avenue and Thirtieth Street, and only one in a 
hundred thousand would ever know that he 
lived. 

No; the present day market-place is the news- 
paper and the magazine. Printed columns are 
the modern thoroughfares; published advertise- 
ments are the cross-roads where the sellers and 
the buyers meet. Any issue of a national maga- 
zine is a world’s fair, a bazaar filled with the 
products of the world’s work. Clothes and 

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THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

clocks and candle-sticks; soup and soap and cig- 
arettes; lingerie and limousines — ^the best of all 
of them are there, proclaimed by their makers 
in persuasive tones. That every other voice 
should be raised in such great market-places, 
and the voice of Jesus of Nazareth be still— this 
is a vital omission which he would find a way to 
correct. He would be a national advertiser to- 
day, I am sure, as he was the great advertiser of 
his own day. To the minds of those who hurry 
through the bristling pages, he too would send 
his call: 

What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the 
whole world and lose his own soul ; or what shall 
a man give in exchange for his soul? 

This would be his challenge in every news- 
paper and magazine; and with it would be cou- 
pled an invitation to share in the joyous enter' 
prise of his work. 

A very successful publisher has a rule that no 
photograph shall ever be printed in his news- 
papers unless it contains human beings. You 

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HIS ADVERTISEMENTS 

and I are interested most of aU in ourselves; 
next to that we are interested in other people. 
What do they look like? How old are they? 
What have they done and said? With unerring 
instinct Jesus recognized and used this trait in 
hxunan nature. One of the most revealing of all 
verses to those who would understand the secret 
of his power is this: “All these things spake 
Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and with- 
out a parable spake he not unto them.” A para- 
ble is a story. He told them stories, stories about 
people, and let the stories carry his message. He 
might have adopted very different methods — 
many teachers and would-be leaders do. He 
might have dealt in generalities, saying: 

“When you are going about your business, be 
as kind as you can. Be thoughtful of the other 
travelers on the highways of life. Take time to 
look for those who have fared less fortunately; 
lend them a helping hand whenever you can.” 

I say he might have uttered such generalities. 
But if he had, do you suppose that they would 
ever have been remembered? Would the dis- 

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THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

ciples have recorded them? Would our age ever 
have heard his name? He was far wiser in the 
laws and habits of the human mind. Instead of 
the commonplace phrases written above, he 
painted this striking picture: 

A certain man went down from J erusalem to 
Jericho and fell among thieves. 

There’s your illustration and your head-line! If 
you had lived near Jerusalem or Jericho; if you 
often had occasion to use that very road, 
wouldn’t you want to know what happened to 
that unfortunate traveler? 

“They stripped off his raiment,” the parable 
continues, “and wounded him, and departed, 
leaving him half dead.” Pretty soon a priest 
came by and seeing the victim said to himself; 
“That’s a shamefxil thing, the police ought to do 
something about these outrages.” But he crossed 
over carefully and passed by on the other side. 
A certain respectable Levite also appeared. 
“His own fault,” he sniffed, “ought to be more 
careful.” And he too passed, by. Then a third 

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HIS ADVERTISEMENTS 

traveler drew near, and stopped — ^and the whole 
world knows what happened. . . . Generalities 
would have been soon forgotten. But the story 
that had its roots in every-day human experience 
and need, lives and will live forever. It con- 
denses the philosophy of Christianity into a half 
dozen tmforgetable paragraphs. The parable of 
the Good Samaritan is the greatest advertise- 
ment of aU time. 

Take any one of the parables, no matter which 
— you will find that it exemplifies all the prin- 
ciples on which advertising text books are writ- 
ten. Always a picture in the very first sen- 
tence; crisp, graphic language and a message 
so clear that even the dullest can not escape it. 

Ten Virgins Went Forth To Meet 
A Bridegroom 

A striking picture and a striking head-line. 
The story which follows has not a single wasted 
word: 

Five of the Virgins were wise, and five were 
foolish. 


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THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


They that were foolish took their lamps, and 
took no oil with them: 

But the wise took oil in their vessels with their 
lamps. 

T^Ue the bridegroom tarried, they all slum- 
bered and slept. 

And at mi^ght there was a cry made. Be- 
hold the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet 
him. 

Then all those Virgins arose, and trimmed 
their lamps. 

And the foolish said unto the wise, “Give us 
of your oil for our lamps have gone out.” 

But the wise answered, saying, “Not so; lest 
there be not enough for us and you; but go ye 
rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.” 

And while they went to buy, the bridegroom 
came; and they that were ready went in with 
him to the marriage ; and the door was shut. 

Afterward came also the other Virgins, say- 
ing, “Lord, Lord, open to me.” 

But he answered and said, “Verily, I say imto 
you, I know you not ...” 

Watch, therefore, for ye know neither the day 
nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. 

Illustrate that with a drawing by a distin- 
guished artist; set it up according to the best 
modem typography; bury it in a magazine with 

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HIS ADVERTISEMENTS 


a hundred other pages — ^will it not stand out? 
Will it not grip the attention of even the most 
casual, and mahe itself read? 

Here is another one: 

What Happened To The One Lost Sheep 

What man of you, having a himdred sheep, if 
he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety 
and nine in the wilderness, and go after that 
which is lost, imtil he find it? 

And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his 
shoulders rejoicing. 

And when he cometh home, he calleth his 
friends and neighbors, saying imto them, “Re- 
joice with me; for I have foimd my sheep which 
was lost.” . . . 

I say unto you, that likewise joy shall he in 
heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more 
than over ninety and nine just persons which 
need no repentance. ...” 

If you were given the task of advertising to 
the world that God cares enormously for one 
human life — ^no matter how wayward and wrong 
the life may be — ^how could you phrase a mes- 
sage more memorable than that? Yet how sim- 

145 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

pie; how sincere; how splendidly crisp and 
direct. Benjamin FranHin in his autobiog- 
raphy — ^that first great American “success 
story” — ^tells the process through which he went 
in acquiring an effective style. He would read 
a passage from some great master of English, 
then lay the book aside and attempt to repro- 
duce the thought in his own words. Comparing 
his version with the original, he discovered 
wherein he had obscured the thought, or wasted 
words, or failed in driving straight to the point. 
Every advertising man ought to study the para- 
bles of Jesus in the same fashion, schooling him- 
self in their language and learning these four big 
elements of their power. 

1. First of all they are marvelously con- 
densed, as all good advertising must be. 
Charles A. Dana, once issued an assignment to 
a new reporter on the Ne'oo York Sun, directing 
him to confine his article to a column. The re- 
porter protested that the story was too big to be 
compressed into so small a space. 

“Get a copy of the Bible and read the first 
146 



HIS ADVERTISEMENTS 


chapter of Genesis,” said Dana. “You’ll be sur- 
prised to find that the whole story of the crea- 
tion of the world can be told in 600 words.” 

It is an axiom in many magazine offices that 
the introduction to almost any article can be cut 
by the editor without sacrificing anything of real 
value. Even experienced writers almost invari- 
ably 'write something before they begin to say 
anything. Advertising writers are compelled to 
greater condensation, but they too are guilty of 
much waste in words. How often you must 
read and read before you discover just what it 
is that the advertiser wants you to do. Jesus had 
no introductions. . A single sentence grips your 
attention; three or four more tell the story; one 
or two more and the application is driven home. 
When he wanted a new disciple he said simply 
“Follow me.” When he sought to explain the 
deepest philosophic mystery — ^the personality 
and character of God — ^he said, “A king made a 
banquet and invited many guests. God is that 
king and you are the guests; the Kingdom of 
Heaven is happmess — ^a banquet to be enjoyed.” 

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THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

Two men spoke on the battleground of Get- 
tysburg sixty years ago. The first delivered an 
oration of more than two hours in length; 
not one person in ten who reads this page 
can even recall his name; certainly not one in a 
himdred can quote a single sentence from that 
“masterly effort.” The second speaker uttered 
two hundred and fifty words, and those words, 
Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, are a part of the 
mental endowment of almost every American. 

Many noble prayers have been sent up to the 
Throne of Grace — ^long impressive utterances. 
The prayer which Jesus taught his disciples con- 
sists of sixty-eight words, and can be written on 
the back of a post-card. Many poems and 
essays have been permed by writers who hoped 
that they were making a permanent place for 
themselves in literature; but the greatest poem 
ever written consists of one hundred and eighty- 
eight words. It is the Twenty-Third Psalm. 

Jesus hated prosy dullness. He praised the 
Centurion who was anxious not to waste his 
time; the only prayer which he publicly com- 

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HIS ADVERTISEMENTS 


mended was uttered by a poor publican who 
merely cried out, “God, be merciful to me a sin- 
ner.” A seven word prayer, Jesus called it a 
good one. A sixty-eight word prayer, he said, 
contained all that men needed to say or God to 
hear. What would be his verdict on most of our 
prayers and our speeches and oiu* advertise- 
ments? 

2. His language was marvelously simple — a 
second great essential. There is hardly a sen- 
tence in his teaching which a child can nob imder- 
stand. His illustrations were aU drawn from the 
commonest experiences of life; “a sower went 
forth to sow”; “a certain man had two sons”; 
“a man built his house on the sands” ; “the king- 
dom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed.” 
The absence of adjectives is striking. Henry 
Ward Beecher said once that “to a large extent 
adjectives are like leaves on a switch; they may 
make it look pretty, as a branch, but they pre- 
vent it striking tinglingly when you use it. 

“I recollect a case in which my father at a 
public meeting was appointed to draw up an 

149 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

article,” Beecher continued. “He had written 
one sentence; ‘It is wrong.’ Some one in the 
meeting got up and moved in his enthusiasm 
that this be corrected, and that the sentence 
read: ‘It is exceedingly wrong.’ My father got 
up and said, in his mild way, ‘When I was writ- 
ing out this resolution in its original shape that 
was the way I wrote it, but to make it stronger, 
I took out the “exceedingly.” ’ ” 

Jesus used few qualifying words and no long 
ones. We referred a minute ago to those three 
literary masterpieces. The Lord’s Prayer, The 
Twenty-Third Psalm, The Gettysbimg Address. 
Recall their phraseology: 

Our Father which art in Heaven, hallowed be 
thy name 

♦ * * 

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want 
0 * * 

Four score and seven years ago 
* * * 

Not a single three-syllable word; hardly any 
two-syUable words. All the greatest things in 

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HIS ADVERTISEMENTS 

human life are one-syllable things — ^love, joy, 
hope, home, child, wife, trust, faith, God — and 
the great advertisements generally speaking, are 
those in which the most small words are fotmd. 

3. Sincerity glistened like sunshine through 
every sentence he uttered; sincerity is the third 
essential. Many wealthy men have purchased 
newspapers with the idea of advancing their per- 
sonal fortimes, or bringing about some political 
action in which they have a private interest. 
Such newspapers almost invariably fail. No 
matter how much money is spent on them, no 
matter how zealously the secret of their owner- 
ship is guarded, the readers are conscious that 
something is wrong. They feel that the voice of 
the editor is not his own. The public has a sixth 
sense for detecting insincerity; they know in- 
stinctively when words ring true. 

It was the way Jesus looked at men, and the 
life he led among them that gave his words 
transforming power. What he was and what he 
said were one and the same thing. Nobody could 
stand at his side for even a minute without being 

151 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

persuaded that here was a man who loved peo« 
pie and considered even the humblest of them 
worthy of the best he had to give. There is no 
superstition more deadening to a writer than the 
idea that he can “write down” to his readers. No 
man was ever big enough to build an enduring 
success on the basis of insincerity; hut many 
comparatively small men, like Peter the Hermit 
or Billy Sunday, fired with conviction, have 
been able to create and sustain a very consider- 
able influence. 

Jesus was notably tolerant of almost all kinds 
of sinners. He liked the companionship of the 
rough and ready folk who were entirely outside 
the churches; he was tender toward xmfor- 
tunate women; he had a special fondness for 
James and John whose ungovernable tempers 
had given them the title of “Sons of Thunder”; 
he forgave the weakness of Peter who denied 
him; and was not resentful at the unbelief of his 
near relatives and his native town. But for one 
sin he had no mercy. He denoimced the indn^ 
cerity of the Pharisees in phrases which sting 

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HIS ADVERTISEMENTS 

like the lash of a whip. They thought they had 
a first mortgage on the Kingdom of Heaven, 
and he told them scornfully that only those who 
become like little children have any chance of 
entering in. 

Little children know no pretense. They are 
startlingly frank. They look at the world 
through clear eyes and say only what they think. 
No writer, no orator, no salesman, exercises any 
large dominion in the world unless he can hum- 
ble himself and partake of their nature. 

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and 
of angels and have not love, I am become as 
soimding brass or a tinkling cymbal,” wrote 
Saint Paul. 

Much brass has been sounded and many cym- 
bals tinkled in the name of advertising; but the 
advertisements which persuade people to act are 
written by men who have an abiding respect for 
the intelligence of their readers, and a deep sin- 
cerity regarding the merits of the goods they 
have to sell. 


153 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

Father welcoming home a prodigal boy; in an» 
other a King who forgives his debtors larg« 
amoimts and expects them to be forgiving in 
turn — many stories, many advertisements, but 
the same big Idea. 

Because the advertisements were unforget- 
table, the Idea lived, and is to-day the one most 
powerful influence on human action and 
thought. To be sure the work of the advertise- 
ments is far from complete. The Idea that God 
is the Father of all men — ^not merely of a spe- 
cially selected few — has still to penetrate some 
creeds, and to establish its dominance in society. 
More or less tmconsciously a lot of us share the 
feeling of the French nobleman in St. Simon’s 
immortal story who was sure that God would 
“think twice before damning a person of his 
quality.” Said the Duchess of Buckingham to 
the Countess of Htmtingdon, in a delicious let- 
ter: 

I thank your Ladyship for the information 
concerning the Methodist preachers; their doc- 
trines are most repulsive and strongly tinctured 

156 



HIS ADVERTISEMENTS 

with impertinence and disrespect toward their 
superiors. ... It is monstrous to be told you 
have a heart as sinful as the common wretches 
that crawl on the earth. This is highly offensive 
and insulting, and I cannot but wonder that 
your Ladyship should relish any sentiments so 
much at variance with high rank and good 
breeding. 

In spite of all the Duchesses of Buckingham, 
however, the Great Advertisements continue to 
make progress. Monarchies are succeeded by 
democracies, building their governments on the 
firm foundation that men are free and equally 
entitled to a chance at the good things of life. 
The privileged protest and the agitator de- 
nounces, but unmistakably the world is becom- 
ing every day a fairer, juster and happier living 
place for the great majority of its inhabitants. 

And whoever feels an impulse to make his 
own life count in this grand process of human 
betterment, can have no surer guide for his ac- 
tivities than the advertisements of Jesus. Let 
him learn their lesson, that if you would teach 
people you first must capture their interest with 

157 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


news; that your service rather than your ser- 
mons must be your claim upon their attention; 
that what you say must be simple, and brief, and 
above all sincere — ^the unmistakable voice of true 
regard and affection. 

“Ye,” said he, “are my friends^ 



CHAPTER VI 


The Eoundek of Modeen Business 

When Jesus was twelve years old his father 
and mother took him to the Feast at J erusalem. 

It was the big national vacation; even peasant 
families saved their pennies and looked forward 
to it through the year. Towns like Nazareth 
were emptied of their inhabitants except for the 
few old folks who were left behind to look after 
the very yoimg ones. Crowds of cheerful pil- 
grims filled the highways, laughing their way 
across the hills and under the stars at night. 

In such a mass of folk it was not surprising 
that a boy of twelve should be lost. When Mary 
and Joseph missed him on the homeward trip, 
they took it calmly and began a search among 
the relatives. 

The inquiry produced no result. Some re- 
membered having seen him in the Temple, but 
no one had seen him since. Mary grew fright- 

159 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

ened: where could he be? Back there in the city 
alone? Wandering hungry and tired through 
the friendless streets? Carried away by other 
travelers into a distant country? She pictured a 
hundred calamities. Nervously she and Joseph 
hurried back over the hot roads, through the 
suburbs, up through the narrow city streets, up 
to the courts of the Temple itself. 

And there he was. 

Not lost; not a bit worried. Apparently un- 
conscious that the Feast was over, he sat in the 
midst of a group of old men, who were tossing 
questions at him and applauding the shrewd 
common sense of his replies. Involuntarily his 
parents halted — ^they were simple folk, uneasy 
among strangers and disheveled by their haste. 
But after all they were his parents, and a very 
human feeling of irritation quickly overcame 
their diffidence. Mary stepped forward and 
grasped his arm. 

“Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us?” she 
demanded. “Behold thy father and I have 
<50ught thee sorrowing.” 


160 



FOUNDER OF MODERN BUSINESS 

I wonder what answer she expected to receive. 
Did she ever know exactly what he was going to 
say: did any one in Nazareth quite understand 
this keen, eager lad, who had such curious mo- 
ments of abstraction and was forever breaking 
out with remarks that seemed so far beyond his 
years? 

He spoke to her now with deference, as al- 
ways, but in words that did not dispel but rather 
added to her imcertainty. 

“How is it that ye sought me?” he asked, 
“Wist ye not that I must be about my father’^ 
business?’* 

His father’s business, indeed, as if that wasn’t 
exactly where they wanted him to be. His 
father owned a prosperous carpenter shop in 
Nazareth, and that was the place for the boy, as 
he very well knew. She was on the point of say- 
ing so, but there was something in his look and 
tone that silenced her. She and Joseph turned 
and started out, and Jesus followed them — away 
from the temple and the city back to little 
Nazareth. 


161 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


TTia hour of boyish triumph had not turned 
his head. He knew how thorough must be his 
preparation for any really successful work. A 
building can rise high into the air only as it has 
sunk its foundations deep into the earth ; the part 
of a man’s life which the world sees is effective 
in proportion as it rests upon solid work which 
is never seen. Instinctively he knew this. For 
eighteen years more he was content to remain in 
that country town — until his strength was at its 
summit; until he had done his full duty by his 
mother and the younger children. Until his 
hour had come. 

But what interests us most in this one re- 
corded incident of his boyhood is the fact that 
for the first time he defmed the purpose of his 
career. He did not say, “Wist ye not that I 
must practise preaching?” or “Wist ye not that 
I must get ready to meet the arguments of men 
like these?” The language was quite different, 
and well worth remembering. “Wist ye not that 
I must be about my father’s business?” he said. 
He thought of his life as business. What did he 

162 



FOUNDER OF MODERN BUSINESS 


mean by business? To what extent are the prin- 
ciples by which he conducted his business ap- 
plicable to ours? And if he were among us 
again, in our highly competitive world, would his 
business philosophy work? 

On one occasion, you recall, he stated his rec- 
ipe for success. It was on the afternoon when 
James and John came to ask him what promo- 
tion they might expect. They were two of the 
most energetic of the lot, called “Sons of Thun- 
der,” by the rest, being noisy and always in the 
midst of some sort of a storm. They had joined 
the ranks because they liked him, but with no 
very definite idea of what it was all about; and 
now they wanted to know where the enterprise 
was heading, and just what there would be in it 
for them. 

“Master,” they said, “we want to ask what 
plans you have in mind for us. You’re going to 
need big men around you when you establish 
your kingdom; our ambition is to sit on either 
side of you, one on your right hand and the other 
on your left.” 


163 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

Who can object to that attitude? If a man 
fails to look after himself, certainly no one will 
look after him. If you want a big place, go ask 
for it. That’s the way to get ahead. 

Jesus answered with a sentence which sounds 
poetically absurd. 

“Whosoever will be great among you, shall be 
your minister,” he said, “and whosoever of you 
will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.” 

A fine piece of rhetoric, now isn’t it? Be a 
good servant and you will be great; be the 
best possible servant and you will occupy the 
highest possible place. Nice idealistic talk but 
utterly impractical ; nothing to take seriously in 
a common sense world. That is just what men 
thought for some hundreds of years; and then, 
quite suddenly. Business woke up to a great dis- 
covery. You will hear that discovery proclaimed 
in every sales convention as something distinctly 
modern and up to date. It is emblazoned in the 
advertising pages of every magazine. 

Look through those pages. 

Here is the advertisement of an automobile 
164 



FOUNDER OF MODERN BUSINESS 


company, one of the greatest in the world. And 
why is it greatest? On what does it base its 
claim to leadership? On its huge factories and 
financial strength? They are never mentioned. 
On its army of workmen or its high salaried 
executives? You might read its advertisements 
for years without suspecting that it had either. 
No. “We are great because of our service,” the 
advertisements cry. “We will crawl imder your 
car oftener and get our backs dirtier than any of 
our competitors. Drive up to our service sta- 
tions and ask for anything at all — it will be 
granted cheerfully. We serve; therefore we 
grow.” 

A manufacturer of shoes makes the same 
boast in other terms. “We put ourselves at 
your feet and give you everything that you can 
possibly demand.” Manufacturers of building 
equipment, of clothes, of food; presidents of 
railroads and steamship companies ; the heads of 
banks and investment houses — all of them tell 
the same story. “Service is what we are here 
for,” they exclaim. They call it the “spirit of 

165 



THE MAJf NOBODY KNOWS 

modem business”; they suppose, most of them, 
that it is something very new. But Jesus 
preached it more than nineteen hundred years 
ago. 

One afternoon in a Pullman car the late 
George W. Perkins was talking about the rea- 
sons why men succeed and fail. 

“I am amazed by some of the yoimg men who 
ask me to use my influence to get them better 
positions or increases in salary,” he said. “Such 
an attitude on their part shows an absolute fail- 
ure to understand the fundamentals of success. 
In aU the years that I was with the New York 
Life Insurance Company I never once asked 
what my salary was to be, or my title. None of 
us who made that Company ever wasted time 
over such questions. We had a vision of extend- 
ing the Company’s service throughout the world, 
of making it the finest, most useful institution 
of its kind. We made it that, and it made us 
rich.” 

That sounds sensible — ^good business sense. 
But how does this sound? 

“If you’re forever thinking about saving youy 

inn 



FOUNDER OF MODERN BUSINESS 


life,” Jesus said, “you’ll lose it; but the man who 
loses his life shall find it.” 

Because he said it and he was a religious 
teacher, because it’s printed in the Bible, the 
world has dismissed it as high minded ethics but 
not hard headed sense. But look again! What 
did Perkins mean if it wasn’t that he and his 
friends buried themselves in their great under- 
taking, literally lost their lives in it? And when 
they found their lives again, they were aU of 
them bigger and richer than they had ever sup- 
posed they could be. Would such success have 
come to them if they had been careful about 
themselves? “We mustn’t overdo this thing,” 
they might have said. “This is a good Company 
and deserves to grow, but every man must look 
out for his own interests. Just what is there 
going to be in it for us?” With such an atti- 
tude they might have moved up to well paid 
positions; but never to outstanding success! 

What did Henry Ford mean, one spring 
morning, when he tipped a kitchen chair back 
against the whitewashed wall of his tractor plant 
and talked about his career? 

167 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

“Have you ever noticed that the man who 
starts out in life with a determination to make 
money, never makes very muchV” he asked. It 
was rather a startling question; and without 
waiting for my comment he went on to answer 
it; “He may gather together a competence, of 
course, a few tens of thousands or even hundreds 
of thousands, but he’ll never amass a really great 
fortune. But let a man start out in life to build 
something better and sell it cheaper than it has 
ever been built or sold before — ^let him have that 
determination, and give his whole self to it — ^and 
the money will roll in so fast that it will bury 
him if he doesn’t look out. 

“When we were building our original models 
do you suppose that it was money we were 
thinking about? Of course we expected that it 
would be profitable, if it succeeded, but that 
wasn’t in the front of our minds. We wanted to 
make a car so cheap that every family in the 
United States could afford to have one. So we 
worked morning, noon and night, until our mus- 
cles ached and our nerves were so ragged that it 

168 



FOUNDER OF MODERN BUSINESS 


seemed as if we just couldn’t stand it to hear 
any one mention the word automobile again. 
One night, when we were almost at the breaking 
point I said to the boys, ‘Well, there’s one con- 
solation,’ I said. ‘Nobody can take this business 
away from us imless he’s willing to work harder 
than we’ve worked.’ And so far,” he concluded 
with a whimsical smile, “nobody has been willing 
to do that.” 

What did Theodore N. Vail mean when he 
said that only once in his life did he set out with 
the deliberate intention of making money — ^that 
all the rest of his fortune had come from work 
which so gripped him that he forgot about the 
money? The one occasion to which he referred 
was his trip to South America where he found a 
mine that did prove profitable, and doubtless 
still is. He made that trip because he had lost 
all his money in an effort to establish a big cen- 
tral heating plant in Boston — to give people 
better warmth, as he had already helped to give 
them better communication. The heating plant 
failed, and he paid its debts with the South 

169 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


American mine. But the bulk of his fortune 
came from the achievement for which he will al- 
ways be remembered — ^the establishment of the 
American Telephone and Telegraph Company. 
To that great enterprise he gave everything he 
had — “threw his life into it,” as we say — “lost 
his life in it,” as Jesus said. And it gave him 
back larger and richer life, and a fortune and 
immortality. 

“Whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile,” 
said Jesus, “go with him twain.” 

Which means, I take it, “do more than is re- 
quired of you, do twice as much.” Another 
startling bit of business advice. Where will a 
man ever get, you ask, if he delivers twice as 
much as he is paid to deliver? The answer is 
that imless he’s a fool he will probably get to and 
stay at the top. I remember once traveling 
from Chicago to New York on the Twentieth 
Century Limited. We were due in the Grand 
Central Station at nine-forty, a nice leisurely 
hour, and three of us who were traveling to- 
gether decided to make a comfortable morning 

1.70 



FOUNDER OF MODERN BUSINESS 


of it. We got out of our berths at a quarter 
after eight, shaved and dressed and half an hour 
later were making our way back to the dining- 
car. 

A door to one of the drawing-rooms was open, 
and as we walked by we could hardly keep from 
looking in. The bed in the room had been made 
up long since; a table stood between the win- 
dows, and at the table, buried in work, was a 
man whose face the newspapers have made 
familiar to every one. He had been Governor of 
New York, a Justice of the Supreme Court, a 
candidate for the Presidency of the United 
States, and was — at the time — ^practising law 
and reputed to be earning much more than a 
hundred thousand dollars a year. 

My companions and I were young men; he 
was well along in middle life. We were poor 
and unknown; he was rich and famous. We 
were doing all that was required of us. We 
were up and dressed and would be ready for 
business when the train pulled in at a little be- 
fore ten. But this man, of whom nothing was 

171 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

actually required, was doing far more. I 
thought to myself as we passed on to our leisure- 
ly breakfast, “That explains him; now I under- 
stand Hughes.” 

I have several times been in the offices of J. 
P. Morgan and Company after six o’clock in 
the evening. I remember vividly the mental 
picture which I once had of what such a private 
banking house must be — ^the partners coming 
down in limousines at eleven and leaving at three, 
after having given their nonchalant approval to 
a million dollar deal. But on the occasion of 
one of the visits to which I refer the offices were 
closed. The clerks, and assistants and even the 
elevator men had gone, leaving only night- 
watchmen. Night-watchmen, and some of the 
partners. There seem to be always lights in the 
partners’ offices no matter what the hour. Of 
the office force it is required that they travel the 
one mile which lies between nine o’clock in the 
morning and five o’clock at night. But the 
partners travel the second mile; have always 
traveled it aU their lives; and are partners he~ 
cause they have. 


172 



FOUNDER OF MODERN BUSINESS 

Here is another business principle, seemingly 
equally impracticable. 

Remember the words of the Lord Jesus how 
he said, "Ji is more Messed to give than to re- 
ceive." 

We came perilously near to losing those words. 
They are not recorded in any one of the four 
Gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all 
forgot them. “All very nice to talk about giv- 
ing instead of getting,” thought Matthew per- 
haps. “It may work in religion, but it’s no good 
in the tax collecting business.” “A splendid 
thought,” John may have said to himself, “a 
very noble sentiment, but not quite practical in 
the fishing industry.” Maybe they imagined 
that the Master had made a mistake, or that 
they had heard him incorrectly. At any rate 
they all passed over the saying. But Paul did 
not. He who had abandoned a social position 
and an assured career for the service of the Gali- 
lean, he who had given more than any of them, 
he heard the words and remembered. He under» 
stood. 


173 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

Are they empty words? Do they bring 
destruction upon a business which regards them 
seriously? Is a man a fool to let them be a guid- 
ing influence in his life? I talked one day with 
H. G. Wells after his Outline of History had 
appeared. I said: 

“You have stood upon a mountain and viewed 
the whole panorama of human progress. You 
have seen the captains and the kings, the princes 
and the prophets, the scientists and the adven- 
tmers, the millionaires and the dreamers — ^all 
the billions of human atoms that have lived and 
loved and struggled their little hour upon the 
earth. In this vast army what heads rise above 
the common level? Among aU those who have 
fought for fame, who have actually achieved it? 
What half dozen men among them aU deserve to 
be called great?” 

He turned the question over in his mind for a 
day or two, and then gave me a list of six names, 
with his reasons for each. An extraordinary list I 

Jesus of Nazareth 

Buddha 


174 



FOUNDER OF MODERN BUSINESS 

Asoka 
Aristotlg 
Roger Bacon 
Abraham Linco]b 

Think of the thousands of emperors who have 
battled for fame; who have decreed themselves 
immortal, and fashioned their immortality into 
monuments of brick and stone. Yet there is 
only one emperor, Asoka, on the list; and he is 
there not because of his victories but because he 
voluntarily abandoned war, after his success, 
and devoted himself to the betterment of his mill 
lions of subjects. Think of the hosts who have 
struggled for wealth, fretting over figures, 
denying their generous instincts, cheating and 
grasping and worrying. Yet no millionaire is 
on the list, excepting again Asoka. Who sat on 
the throne in Rome, when Jesus of Nazareth 
hung on the cross? Who ruled the hosts of 
Persia when Aristotle thought and taught? Who 
was King of England when Roger Bacon laid 
the foundations of modem scientific research? 

175 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


The tumult and the shouting dies, 

The captains and the kings depart. 

And when the historian, looking over the field 
where they contended for the prize, seeks for 
something which has endured, he finds the mes- 
sage of a teacher, the dream of a scientist, the 
vision of a seer. “These six men stood on the 
corners of History,” said Wells in his pic- 
turesque way. “Events hinged on tliem. The 
cm-rent of human thought was freer and clearer 
because they had lived and worked. They took 
little from the world and left it much. They did 
not get; they gave; and, in the giving, gained 
eternal influence.” 

In our own country, in Monticello, in Vir- 
ginia, an American statesman lies buried. He 
was Secretary of State, Minister to France, 
President of the United States; yet his epitaph 
makes reference to none of these honors. It 
reads: 

Here was buried 
Thomas Jefferson 
Author 

of the Declaration of American Independence 

176 



FOUNDER OF MODERN BUSINESS 

of the Statute of Virginia 
for Religious Freedom 
and Father of the 
University of Virginia 

The offices that he held are forgotten on the 
stone, as they will be eventually forgotten by all 
but the historian; he desired to be remembered 
only by what he gave. And he has his wish. 

Somewhere in his Essays Emerson has a sen- 
tence to this effect: “See how the mass of men 
worry themselves into nameless graves, while 
here and there a great unselfish soul forgets 
himself into immortality.” A fine thought, 
finely phrased ; but Jesus thought it first. 

So we have the main points of his business 
philosophy: 

1. Whoever will be great must render great 
service. 

2. Whoever wiU find himself at the top must 
be willing to lose himself at the bottom. 

3. The big rewards come to those who travel 
the second, xmdemanded mile. 

Judas would have sneered at all this. Not a 
bad fellow at heart, he had the virtues and the 

177 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

weaknesses of the small bore business man. He 
was “hard-boiled,” and proud of it; be “looked 
out for Number One.” It was no easy job being 
treasurer for a lot of idealists, Judas would have 
you know. He held the bag and gave every cent 
a good tight squeeze before he let it pass. When 
the grateful woman broke her box of costly oint- 
ment over Jesus’ feet the other disciples thought 
it was fine, but he knew better. “Pretty waste- 
ful business,” he grumbled to himself. The big 
talk of the others about “thrones” and “king- 
doms” and “victory” did not fool him; he could 
read a balance sheet, and he knew that the jig 
was up. So he made his private little deal with 
the priests, probably supposing that J esus would 
be arrested, reproved and warned not to preach 
in Jerusalem again. “I will get mine and re- 
tire,” he said to himself. Said Jesus, “I, if I be 
lifted up (on the cross; that is to say, if I lose 
my life) will draw all men to me.” Each made 
his decision and received his reward. 

We have quoted some men of conspicuous suc- 
cess, but the same sound principles apply to 

178 



FOUNDER OF MODERN BUSINESS 


every walk of life. Great progress will be made 
in the world when we rid ourselves of the idea 
that there is a difference between work and re- 
ligious work. We have been taught that a man’s 
daily business activities are selfish, and that only 
the time which he devotes to cliurch meetings 
and social service activities is consecrated. Ask 
any ten people what Jesus meant by his “Fa- 
ther’s business,” and nine of them will answer 
“preaching.” To interpret the words in this 
narrow sense is to lose the real significance of 
his life. It was not to preach that he came into 
the world; nor to teach; nor to heal. These are 
all departments of his Father’s business, but the 
business itself is far larger, more inclusive. For 
if human life has any significance it is this — ^that 
God has set going here an experiment to which 
all His resources are committed. He seeks to 
develop perfect human beings, superior to cir- 
cumstance, victorious over Fate. No single kind 
of human talent or effort can be spared if the 
experiment is to succeed. The race must be fed 
and clothed and housed and transported, as well 

179 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


as preached to, and taught and healed. Thus all 
business is his Father’s business. All work is 
worship; aU useful service prayer. And who- 
ever works wholeheartedly at any worthy calling 
is a co-worker with the Almighty in the great 
enterprise which He has initiated but which He 
can never finish without the help of men. 

It is one thing to talk about success, and quite 
another thing to win it. Jesus spoke of crowns 
and died on a cross. He talked of his kingdom, 
and ended his days amid the jeers and taimts of 
his enemies. “He was in all points tempted like 
as we are,” says the Epistle to the Hebrews. We 
have read it often, heard it read oftener, but we 
have never believed it, of course. . . . The con- 
ception of his character which Theology has 
given us makes any such idea impossible. He 
was born differently from the rest of us. Theol- 
ogy insists. He did not belong among us at all, 
but came down from Heaven on a brief visit, 
spent a few years in reproving men for their 
mistakes, died and went back to Heaven again. 
A hollow bit of stage-play. What chance for 

180 



FOUNDER OF MODERN BUSINESS 


temptation in such a career? How can an actor 
go wrong when his whole part is written and 
learned in advance? 

It is frightfully hard to free the mind from 
the numbing grip of ancient creeds. But let us 
make the effort. Let us touch once more the 
high spots in this finest, most exalted success 
story, considering now the perils and crises of 
success. 

He was not at all sure where he was going 
when he laid down his tools and turned his back 
on the carpenter shop — ^unless we can believe 
this, his struggle ceases to be “in all points” like 
our own; for each of us has to venture on Life 
as on to an uncharted sea. Something inside him 
carried him forward — ^the something which has 
whispered to so many small town boys that there 
is a place for them in the world which lies be-> 
yond the hills. He went to John to be baptized 
and for a while John’s influence molded him. 
He, too, retired into the wilderness and there met 
the first crisis of his career. When he emerged 
he had formed his own plan for his work; asceti- 

181 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


cism and denunciation, he knew, were not the 
role for him. 

His first success was swift beyond all ex- 
pectations. Out of the Temple, shrieking and 
cursing, went the money-changers, while the 
crowd cheered his name to the echo. That night 
the whole city was stirred by the story. When 
he left, at the end of the feast, and went back 
into his own north country, he foimd that his 
fame had preceded him. Crowds flocked to hear 
him talk; news of his deeds of healing traveled 
ahead of him everywhere. His vision of his work 
began to take definite shape. He would restore 
the self-respect of the people, abolishing the rule 
of formalism, and establishing a fresh, glorious 
conception of the Fatherhood of God, and the 
brotherhood of man. It all seemed so natural, 
so easy, there in the warm sunshine of Galilee 
with the responsive faces of the multitude turned 
eagerly toward him. The year or year and a 
half that followed were filled with the joy of in- 
creasing reputation and success. Apparently 
there was not a single cloud in the sky, 

182 



FOUNDER OF MODERN BUSINESS 

But there were people in Jerusalem with 
whose private affairs his ideas would seriously 
interfere. He was not left long in doubt as to 
their attitude. Incensed at his cleansing of the 
Temple, they sent their spies into the north 
comitry to report his movements and made ev- 
ery effort to tiurn the crowds away. Perhaps at 
first he had hope of winning even his enemies to 
his teaching — so altogether simple and satisfy- 
ing his gospel seemed to him. If so, the hope 
soon vanished. Opposition crystallized; it made 
itself felt in every audience he addressed, in 
every town he visited. Reluctantly he had to face 
the fact that the time was coming when he must 
compromise or fight. It was with this realiza- 
tion that he faced a second and a greater crisis. 

He had crossed the lake one day in a little 
boat to get away from the crowds; but they 
were too quick for him. Running aroxmd the end 
of the lake, and gathering recruits as they ran, 
they waited for him at the landing place — more 
than five thousand strong. He was tired, and 
wanted a chance to rest and think. But here 

183 



THE MAT^" NOBODY KNOWS 

were the people, pathetically eager, and he “had 
compassion on them.” So he sat down among 
them and went on with his teaching until the day 
was almost over. Then, at last, the disciples 
came, hardly concealing their tired petulance, 
and demanded that he send them away. 

“But they have made a long trip and have 
been with us all day without food,” he replied,. 
“We must feed them before they go.” 

The disciples regarded him with blank amaze- 
ment. 

“Feed them — on what?” they demanded. “We 
have no money, and even if we had there are 
more than five thousand in the crowd!” 

Jesus apparently did not hear them. 

“Have them sit down,” he commanded. 
“Gather up whatever food you can find and 
bring it here to me.” 

Doubtingly, but too well trained to argue, the 
disciples did as they were told. They arranged 
the crow'd in companies of fifty and a hxmdred, 
collected the little supply of food which the more 
prudent members had brought, and laid the col* 

184 



FOUNDER OF MODERN BUSINESS 


lection at his feet. He lifted his eyes to heaven, 
blessed the food, ordered it redistributed and 
somehow the people ate and were satisfied. 

Just what happened in the moment when the 
food was laid before him is an impenetrable 
mystery; but there is no doubt at all as to what 
took place afterward. It was the event for 
which the people had waited, the unmistakable 
sign! Moses had fed their fathers on manna in 
the wilderness; here was one who likewise called 
on Heaven, and supplied their wants. Surely 
he was the son of David, long foretold, who 
would overthrow the rule of their conquerors 
and restore the throne to Jerusalem! 

Joyously they shouted the news back and 
forth. The day of deliverance had come; the 
tyranny of the Romans was about to end. Their 
enthusiasm carried them to their feet — fifty in 
this group, a hundred in that; almost as if by 
magic they found themselves organized. They 
were an army and had not realized it. Right 
there on the field they were enough to outnum- 
ber the garrison in Jerusalem; but they were 

185 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


only a nucleus of the host that would gather to 
their banners, once their southward march was 
formed. If they were five thousand now, they 
would be fifty thousand, perhaps a hmidred 
thousand then. A wild enthusiasm seized upon 
them; shouting his name at the top of their 
voices they surged forward toward the little hiU 
where he stood — 

And then — 

He had foreseen their purpose, and even while 
they were perfecting their plan, doubt had raged 
through his spirit with the force of a tempest. 
Why not accept their nomination? Why not 
be their king? It would mean an alteration in 
his program, to be sure — ^a smrender of his 
vision of spiritual leadership. And yet it might 
not be such a surrender, after all. Solomon had 
been king, and a great spiritual leader; David 
had been king and had written the nation’s high- 
est ideals into his Psalms. He himself was bet- 
ter balanced than David, wiser than Solomon — ■ 
why not? 

It was as splendid a picture as ever stirred the 
186 



FOUNDER OF MODERN BUSINESS 


pulses of an ambitious man. For only an in- 
stant Jesus allowed his eyes to rest on it. 
Then he saw the other picture — ^the vast dumb 
multitudes of men, his brothers and sisters, the 
blind being led by the blind, their souls squeezed 
dry of vision and hope by the machinery of for- 
malism. He saw generations born and die in 
spiritual servitude which nothing could end ex- 
cept the Truth that he had come to declare. To 
put himself at the head of this army of fanatical 
patriots would be perhaps to risk his life and his 
message with it. But worse than the possibility 
of failure was the probability of success. To be 
king of the Jews would mean a lifetime spent in 
the defense of his throne and title, a lifetime of 
bloodshed and intrigue, while his message re- 
mained unspoken. Living, he would give his 
people only a semblance of national life; dying, 
he would leave them to be re-enslaved by the 
Roman power. And the Truth which he had 
come to declare, which was capable of continuing 
its work of emancipation throughout the world 
so long as time should last, would be traded for 

18T 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


a glittering crown and an empty name. In a 
flash he saw it all and made his decision. Even 
as the multitude surged forward, he gave a few 
crisp orders to his disciples and disappeared. 

The Gospel story puts the dramatic climax 
into a single sentence: 

Jesus, therefore, perceiving that they were 
about to come and take him hy force to make 
him king, withdrew again into the mountain 
himself alone. 

In that hour of crisis he proved his right to he 
the silent partner in every modern business; to 
sit at the head of every directors’ table. There 
is no mere theorizing in his words ; he speaks out 
of what he himself has proved. If he says that 
a man’s work is more eternally important than 
any title, he has a right to speak. He himself 
refused the highest title. If he says that there 
are things more vital than merely making 
money, let no one question his authority. He 
was handed the wealth of a nation and handed 
it back again. Idealist he is, but there is noth- 
ing in the whole hard world so practical as his 

188 



FOUNDER OF MODERN BUSINESS 


ideals. “There is a success which is greater than 
wealth or titles,” he says. “It comes through 
making your work an instrument of greater 
cervice, and larger living to your fellow men and 
women. This is my Father’s business and he 
needs your help.” 

He told one business story which should be 
published eveiy year in all magazines of bus- 
iness, all trade papers, all house organs. It con- 
cerned a certain rich man whose enterprises 
prospered beyond all his expectations. His land 
“brought forth plentifully,” so much so that he 
said to himself : “What shall I do, because I have 
no room where to bestow my fruits?” 

And he said: “This will I do; I will pull down 
my barns and build greater; and there will I be- 
stow all my fruits and my goods.” 

And I will say to my soul, “Soul, thou hast 
much goods laid up for many years; take thine 
ease, eat, drink and be merry.” 

But God said, “Thou fool, this night thy soul 
shall be required of thee.” 

The poor fool had regarded his business as 
nothing but a means of escape from business. 

189 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

He had hoarded his wealth, denying every gen^ 
erous impulse ; spent his health, forfeiting every 
chance for wholesome enjoyment; sacrificed the 
joy of living for a selfish satisfaction that he 
hoped was coming when he had made his pile. 
And Fate laughed in his face. He thought h^ 
had provided for every contingency, but the one 
great Event which is always unexpected came 
like a thief in the night and found him impre* 
pared. . . . 

With that business anecdote should be pub- 
lished another, which is also a tragedy. It con- 
cerns the little hotel in Bethlehem, “the inn.” 

The mother of Jesus of Nazareth knocked at 
its doors and could not come in. It might have 
sheltered the greatest event in human history, 
and it lost its chance. 

Why? Why was Jesus bom in a stable? Be-: 
cause the people in the inn were vicious or 
hostile? Not in the least. The inn was full, 
that was all; every room was taken by folk who 
had affairs to attend to and money to spend. It 
was busy- 


190 



founder of modern business 

There was no “room in the inn.” 

Men’s lives are sometimes like that inn. 

You know a man whose heart is broken be- 
cause his son is a fool. Yet deep within himself 
he knows that the fault is his own. All through 
the formative years of the boy’s development, 
he never gave him any time. Not that he didn’t 
love the boy; but he was busy. There was no 
room for family life; and his son is a fool. 

You know men whose health is gone; men 
whose taste for reading and music and art is 
gone. Men who have literally no interests in 
life beyond the office which has become a mere 
treadmill whereon their days are ground away. 

In the process of being successful they have 
sacrificed success. Never once forgetting them- 
selves they have forgotten everything else. This 
is not Jesus’ idea of what a life should be. He, 
who refused to turn aside from his business to 
become a king, was never too busy to turn aside 
for a sick man, a friend, a little child. He never 
forgot that one night his mother had stood on a 
threshold where there was no welcome. 

191 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


The threshold of the little inn in Bethlehem. 
It was so busy that the greatest event in history 
knocked at its doors 

— ^and could not come in. 



CHAPTER VII 


The Master 

So WE come up to the end. To the final tests 
of a man’s living — 

How does he bear disappointment? 

How does he die? 

For two years it seemed almost certain that 
Jesus would prevail. He himself was sure of it. 
We have marked the dramatic success with 
which his work began. We have watched the 
crowds flock about him in the market-place ; we 
have heard the cheers that greeted his victories 
over shrewd antagonists, and the murmured awe 
when a sick man rose and walked. Reports of 
his triumphs i)receded him everywhere so that 
men competed for the honor of being his host, 
and there was friendliness in his audiences that 
made almost anything seem possible. And why 
not? If, by accepting his message, men could be 

193 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

lifted up, transformed into sons of God, heirs 
of eternity, why should any be so stubborn or so 
foolish as to oppose? Surely such Truth must 
conquer. 

If you read the story carefully you can see 
how his tone and manner grew in confidence. In 
hours of exalted communion he stood face to 
face with God, felt his own sonsliip, knew that he 
could lift the hearts of men as no other had ever 
lifted them. The knowledge thrilled him with 
ecstasy. “I am the Way,” he cried, and he called 
on his friends to free themselves, to cast their 
burdens upon the Lord, to believe more, rejoice 
more, expect more of God. Those who listened 
in those days were profoundly impressed. Even 
the most callous yielded grudging admiration. 
“Never man so spake,” said they. As for the 
multitude, its enthusiasm would brook no half- 
way measures. They would take him by force 
and make him king. 

Then came the change. 

His home town was first to turn against him. 
Picture, if you will, the enthusiasm with which 

194 



THE MASTER 


he planned his visit to it. Nazareth was littfe 
and despised, a jest among the wits of the day. 
It had produced no great men, been the scene 
of no historic achievement. Jesus knew all this. 
Those familiar streets and faces were often in 
his memory. When he healed a sick man in 
Capernaum, it pleased him to think that the re- 
port would be carried back to Nazareth. When 
he drove the plunderers from the Temple he 
realized that, in the fame which had come to 
him, his home town would have a share. “Jesus 
of Nazareth,” the world called him, linking its 
name with his. He had lifted the little village 
out of obscurity. And now, in the height of his 
glory, he was going back. 

Did he arrive in the dusk and slip almost un- 
noticed through the streets to his mother’s house? 
Perhaps she was in the kitchen, and hearing that 
footstep which she could never mistake, she ran 
and threw her aims around his neck. 

“Jesus,” she cries, patting his cheek and look- 
ing up at him with glistening eyes, “Jesus, my 
boy, my boy I” 


195 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

Hearing the name his brothers and sistera 
come hurrying from other parts of the house. 
All sorts of reports have drifted back — almost 
imbelievable reports. Every day the gossips of 
the village have stopped them to ask whether a 
letter or a message has come. 

“Seems to he doing great things,” said the 
gossips with ill-concealed emy. “Hope he doesn’t 
try to go too far,” they said in tones which re- 
vealed all too clearly their real hope that he 
tvould go too far, and come to grief. 

Against cynicism and innuendo his brothers 
had stood their ground proudly. He was doing 
great things, they insisted; the reports were not 
a hit exaggerated. Some day he would come 
back and show them all; they would wish then 
that they had believed. . . . And now he was 
back. Healthy he looked, and confident; but 
not otherwise different. They were a bit disap- 
pointed and he felt it. They hardly knew what 
it was, but they had expected that he would be 
somehow bigger, or better dressed, or tagged 
with some outward sign of authority. . . . With 

196 



THE MASTER 


forced enthusiasm they hustled about, asking 
liim questions, praising his good looks; but 
through it all, ran a note of restraint. 

“Come now, you must get to bed early,” his 
mother may have said. “They will all be want- 
ing to see you at the sjmagogue to-morrow.” 

So he went up to the room, his old room, alone. 
The home coming was not quite what he had 
dreamed. They loved him; they were proud 
of him, but they doubted — ^that was clear 
enough. And they dreaded the test that must 
come next day. 

He awoke refreshed and heartened. Some 
neighbors dropped in after breakfast, for the 
report of his arrival had spread quickly through 
the little town. When he and his mother reached 
the door of the synagogue a crowd was waiting 
outside. They returned his greeting with a mix- 
ture of regard and curiosity, and pushed 
promptly through the door behind him, filling 
the little room full. There was much whisper- 
ing and craning of necks. He made his way to 
the front of the room, picked up the roll of the 

197 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

prophet Isaiah, turned around toward them and 
smiled. 

Instantly all his illusions vanished. Instead 
of sympathetic imderstanding there was only 
cynicism on those faces. The old woman, his 
neighbor, whom he had planned to heal, was 
sitting prominently in front. She was willing 
to take a chance on anything, for she had been 
a long time sick; but her look was less a hope 
than a challenge. The substantial men of the 
town settled solidly in their appointed seats, and 
dared him with their hard eyes to try his tricks 
on them! “You may have caused a stir in 
Capernaum,” they seemed to say, “but little 
old Nazareth isn’t so slow. We know you. 
You’re no prophet; you’re just the son of 
Joseph the carpenter, and you can’t fool us!” 

Slowly he opened the roll and in tones that 
stirred them in spite of themselves he began to 
read: 

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me 
Because he anointed me to preach of good tid- 
ings to the poor. 


193 



THE MASTER 

He hath sent me to proclaim release to the cap- 
tives. 

And recovery of sight to the blind ; 

To set at liberty them that are bruised, 

And proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. 

He closed the book and handed it back to the 
attendant. “This day hath this Scripture been 
fulfilled in your ears,” he said simply. There 
was an ominous silence in the synagogue. “The 
eyes of all were fastened upon Him.” He knew 
what they were thinking; they wanted him to do 
some mighty work such as he had done in Caper- 
naum. But he knew also the uselessness of try- 
iag. The scorn, the ignorant self-sufficiency 
were miracle proof. They would never receive 
him; never be proud of him. They merely 
wanted him to exhibit himself and they hoped 
that he would fail. “No prophet is acceptable 
in his own country,” he said to them sadly. 
“Elijah did his greatest works in a foreign city; 
Elisha could accomplish nothing big until he got 
beyond the borders of his home.” With a look 
of soul-weariness he turned to leave. 

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THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

Then the storm broke. All the pent-up envy 
of the little town for one who has dared to out- 
grow it, gathered itself into a roar. They 
surged forward hurrying him through the main 
street to the edge of a precipice where they 
would have thrown him over. But the wrath 
which had been sufficient to conceive his destruc- 
tion grew suddenly impotent when he turned 
and faced them. They shrank back, and before 
they could reform their purpose, he had passed 
through the midst of them and was on his way. 
In his ears sounded the buzz of malicious com- 
ment, but he was too heart-sick to look back. 
From henceforth Capernaum became “his own 
city.” Nazareth, the home of his youth, the 
dwelling place of his boyhood friends and neigh- 
bors, had given its verdict. 

He had come unto his own, and his own re- 
ceived him not. 

His brothers deserted him. We ought not to 
blame them too much, perhaps. No man is a hero 
to his valet; and the near relatives of any great 
man, who have lived with him through the fa- 

200 



THE MASTER 


miliar experiences of every-day life, must be al- 
ways a little mystified by the world’s worship. 
The brothers of Jesus had been witnesses of his 
defeat, and were left behind by him to bear the 
ignominy of it. How the sardonic laughter must 
have rung in their ears ! How endlessly the wits 
must have cracked their jokes about that morn- 
ing in the synagogue. . . . These home town 
sneers were bad enough, but the reports that 
came back from other towns threw the simple 
unimaginative family into a panic. It was said 
that he made seditious speeches ; that he claimed 
to have a special relationship to God ; that he ut- 
terly disregarded the code of the Pharisees and 
denounced them openly before the crowds. Such 
conduct could mean only one thing. He would 
get himself into jail, and his relatives with him. 
Hence the members of his family who should 
have been his best helpers spent their energy in 
the effort to get him to go farther away from 
home. Once when the feast of tabernacles was 
being celebrated in Jerusalem, they urged him 
to “go up” to “depart hence” and taunted him, 

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THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

saying that if he could really do all that he 
claimed, the place for him to make his reputa- 
tion was at the capital. Anything to get him 
out of Galilee. They were all unsafe while he 
stayed near them — so they thought. 

“For even his brethren did not believe in him.” 

He was teaching one day in Capernaum to a 
crowd that hxmg spellbound on his words, when 
suddenly an interruption occurred. A messen- 
ger pushed through the audience to tell him that 
his mother and brothers were outside and in- 
sisted on speaking to him right away. A quick 
look of pain shot across his fine face. He knew 
why they had come; they had been sending him 
threats of their coming for weeks. They had 
made up their minds that he was just a little bit 
out of his head, and they were determined to 
shut him up in an asylum before his extrava- 
gances should ruin them all. He drew himself 
up to his full height and pointing to his disciples 
turned to the messenger: 

“My mother and brethren?” he repeated. “Be- 
hold these who believe on me, they are my mother 
and my brethren.” 


202 



THE MASTER 


They were indeed his real kindred and many 
times they proved themselves worthy of the 
name; but even their devotion could not entirely 
remove the hurt. When later he had his brief 
horn of triumph, when the crowds flung their 
garments into the streets before him and shouted 
their “hosannas,” even then his heart must have 
been sore at the thought that in all that multi- 
tude there was not one of the brothers for whom 
he had sacrificed so much of his youth. A warm 
hand-clasp from one of them would have meant 
more than all the high homage of the multitude. 
But they were far away, still ashamed of the re- 
lationship, still regarding him as well meaning 
but not quite sane. 

Mis best friend died doubting him. To that 
friend, John the Baptist, he owed his initial suc- 
cess. John had introduced him to the people; 
his first disciples had come because John pointed 
him out as a greater prophet than himself. The 
two men were entirely unlike in character and 
method. John was austere, harsh, denunciatory 
'—a lonely spirit, dwelling apart. Jesus was 

203 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

cheerful, friendly, never happier than when in e 
crowd. John laid down for his disciples a rigid 
program of ceremonies and fasts; Jesus disre- 
garded forms and encouraged his disciples to 
disregard them. He recognized that he and 
John must do their work in different ways, but 
it had not occurred to him that their differences 
would ever loosen the bond of friendship. He 
was cut to the quick, therefore, when two mes- 
sengers came from John with a wistful, doubt- 
ing question: 

“Are you redly a prophet, as I told people 
that you are?” John asked. “Instead of fasting 
you banquet. Instead of calling on men to ab- 
jure pleasure, you share their pleasures. Are 
you the hope of the world, as I believed you to 
be, or must we look for another?” 

Very tenderly, but sadly, Jesus sent back his 
reply: “Go tell John what you have seen and 
heard,” he said, “how the blind see, lepers are 
cleansed and the poor have the good news 
preached to them.” 

It was a wonderful answer, but did it convince 
204 



THE MASTER 


his friend? A few weeks later, in the dungeon 
of Herod’s castle, John paid the last great pen- 
alty for his idealism and courage. Jesus, when 
he heard of it, “withdrew into the hills alone.” 
His closest friend and first adherent had gone 
out — a sacrifice to the selfishness of a social 
order which he himself was fighting. In that 
heart-breaking event he saw an omen for him- 
self. They who had been strong enough to mur- 
der John would one day destroy him also. It 
was a bitter blow to his visions of success. When 
he returned from the hills there was a new se- 
riousness in his face, a harder note in his teach- 
ings. He saw at the end of his path the shadow 
of the cross. And his heart was heavy because 
the friend who ought to have understood him 
best, had misunderstood him and died in doubt. 

The people deserted him. When last we 
caught a glimpse of them they were cheering his 
name beside the lake, seeking to force him to be 
their king. He eluded them and retired into the 
mountain to think and pray. It must have been 
a dramatic moment when he reappeared. Only 

205 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


a single “Yes” was needed and they would have 
lifted him on their shoulders and home him in 
trimnph to the city gates. Hushed and expect- 
ant they waited for his answer — and what an 
answer I “I am not come to restore the kingdom 
to Jerusalem,” he cried. “Mine is a spiritual 
mission; I am the bread of life. You have 
cheered me because I fed you in the wilderness, 
but I tell you now that what I have come to give 
yon is myself, that by knowing me you may 
know your Father.”^ 

They could not have been more stimned if he 
had struck their leaders across the face. What 
did he mean by this senseless mysticism, this talk 
about “the bread of life”? Hadn’t they seen him 
heal the sick and conquer the Pharisees in debate 
— ^were not these signs that he was the leader, so 
long promised, who would rout the Romans and 
restore the throne of David? And now, when 
the hour was ripe, when they were ready to 
march, why this language which nobody could 
understand? 

“The Jews therefore mtnrmured concerning 
206 



THE MASTER 


him, because he said T am the bread that came 
down from Heaven.’ ” It was sacrilege or non- 
sense, one or the other. In either event it proved 
him an unsound leader. Gentiles might continue 
to follow him, if they chose, but his company was 
clearly no place for a self-respecting Jew. 

Silently the cautious people slipped away, and 
afterward denied that they had ever had any- 
thing to do with him. Those who were more 
daring, or devoted, continued with him through 
the rest of the week, and on the Sabbath 
crowded into the synagogue where they knew 
that he would speak. The days had given him 
time to reconsider and compose his thoughts; 
perhaps now he would make a reasonable reply 
to their hopes. But there was no compromise in 
his message that day. Again he repeated his 
seemingly senseless talk about the “bread of 
life.” It destroyed the last hope of those who 
had looked to him for the deliverance of Israel. 
“These are hard sayings,” they protested, “who 
can understand them?” And then the note of 
tragedy- 


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THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

^‘XJpon this many of Ms disciples went hack 
and walked with him no more/* 

The tide had turned. He realized it clearly 
though the disciples could not. At every op- 
portunity he sought to build up in them an in- 
creased sense of their responsibilities. He must 
“go into Jerusalem,” he told them, “and suffer 
many things of the elders and chief priests and 
scribes, and be killed.” They could not, would 
not believe it. Peter, hot-headed and enthusi- 
astic, took him aside and rebuked him for what 
seemed a temporary loss of courage. “Be it far 
from thee. Lord,” he exclaimed; “this shall 
never be imto thee.” Generous loyal words, but 
they revealed an utter failure to appreciate the 
real situation. All hope of a revived and regem 
crated nation was gone; his one chance now for 
permanent influence was in welding his little 
group closer together, and sealing their union 
with his blood. 

For the first time in his public work he for- 
sook Palestine and led his wondering but still 
dutiful followers into the foreign cities of Tyre 

208 



THE MASTER 


and Sidon. The journey gave him a chance to 
be alone with the twelve; and it was, in a small 
way, a repetition of his earlier triumphs. These 
foreign folk were friendly without ulterior mo- 
tive. They cared nothing about the establish- 
ment of a throne in J erusalem, or the possibility 
of profit for themselves from his political tri- 
umph. They came to hear him because his words 
thrilled them, because they felt their better 
selves touched and made vibrant by the wonder 
of his life. 

He hated to leave these kindly strangers. 
Much more he dreaded the thought of another 
trip through Galilee. Wliat a graveyard of high 
hopes it was! Every road, every street comer, 
almost every house and tree was alive with 
memories of his success. Now he must pass each 
one again, conscious that it might be the last 
time, his heart weighed down with the thought 
of high purposes that had brought no response, 
and sacrifices seemingly in vain. Small wonder 
that he cried out against Chorazin and Beth- 
saida and even his own loved Capernaum, the 

209 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

cities for which he had done so much. “Woe 
unto you,” he cried in his loneliness, “for if the 
mighty works which were done in you had been 
done in Tyre and Sidon they would have re- 
pented long ago, in sack-cloth and ashes.” 

But neither Bethsaida nor Capernaum had ears 
for him any longer. Some new novelty had 
taken hold of the public imagination. He had 
had his day; nothing more was to be expected 
from him. ... So the spring and summer 
passed, and autumn came, bringing the feast of 
tabernacles, which he determined to celebrate 
in Jerusalem. It was a suicidal resolve. The re- 
port of his dwindling influence had been carried 
to the Temple clique which was emboldened by 
the information. There were spies in every 
erowd that listened to him; the echo of his small- 
est act flew to the capital; he could not hope to 
arrive outside the city walls without imminent 
danger of arrest. AU this he knew but it did 
not weigh against his resolve. This might be his 
last feast. There would be visitors from all 
over the world, some of whom would surely take 

210 



THE MASTER 


the seed of his message with them back to their 
homes. He must be tnie to his calling at what- 
ever cost. So he went. 

We catch one glimpse of him on the Temple 
steps, surrounded by a partly curious, partly 
antagonistic crowd. It was his chance to recap- 
ture a little of the popular favor, to speak a 
placating word that might open the way to rec- 
onciliation; but no such thought entered hi* 
mind. The time for defiance had come. “I 
have offered you the truth,” he cried, “the truth 
that would make you free.” And when they 
shouted that they were sons of Abraham and 
hence already free, he replied that they were no 
children of Abraham, but “children of the devil.” 

They would have killed him then and there, 
but their courage failed. After all he had still a 
considerable following, and it was better to wait. 
Give him rope and he would tangle himself in- 
extricably. Every speech was alienating some- 
body. When the time was ripe they would seize 
him — ^perhaps at the next feast, if in the mean- 
time he had not entirely discredited himself and 

211 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


disappeared. So they argued among themselves, 
and he went back once more into his Galilee. 

Just for a moment, in the next spring, there 
seemed to be a renewed popular interest. The 
crowds flocked around in the old familiar way; 
the disciples noted it joyously. “The multitudes 
come together to him again,” they exclaimed and 
at once their hopes were busy with new visions 
of his success. But dismay followed fast. 
Ag ain st their ardent protest he carried them off 
into close retirement. They were restless, lone- 
ly, distressed at the high handed fashion in which 
he turned away supporters. Was it necessary to 
be so harsh with the Pharisees? After all there 
were many estimable men among them whose 
contributions would have been very helpful. 
Why should he have ridiculed them out of his 
company? Why tell people that their precious 
ritual was less acceptable to God than the cry 
for mercy of an imtaught publican? Why slight 
their ready hospitality in favor of an outcast like 
Zacchaeus. His little group of friends were still 
groping for a clear vision of message and pur- 

212 



THE MASTER 


poses when for the last time he led them down to 
Jerusalem and the final feast. 

The one week of his life which everybody 
knows is the last week. Hence we pass over it 
in this little book. It began with the triumphant 
shouts of “hosanna”; it ended with the blood- 
thirsty cries of “crucify.” Between the first 
morning of triumph and the last hours of mor- 
tal agony it witnessed his finest verbal victories 
over his opponents. Never were his nerves more 
steady, his courage higher, his mind more keen. 
Deliberately he piled up the mountain of hatred, 
knowing that it would kill him, but determined 
that there should be no doubt through the ages 
as to what he had stood for, and why he had to 
die. Every man who loves courageous manhood 
ought to read these final chapters at least once 
a year. Any attempt to abridge or paraphrase 
them would result in failure or worse. We pass 
over them in reverent silence, stopping only foif 
a glimpse of the three most wonderful scenes. 

First the final supper on that cool, quiet 
Thursday night. He knew that he should never 

213 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

meet with the disciples around the table again. 
All the memories of the three great years must 
have crowded into his mind as the meal pro- 
gressed. How often they had sat together under 
a tree beside the lake, sharing the fish that their 
own nets had caught. How they had enjoyed 
that first meal at Cana, when he turned the 
water into wine. What a glorious afternoon it 
was when he fed five thousand, and the shouts 
«)f gladness echoed back and forth among the 
hills. And this was the end. His relatives had 
turned their backs on him; his home town had 
scorned his advances; his best friend had died 
doubting; the people had turned away, and his 
enemies were about to triumph — is there any 
other leader who would have stood forth un- 
broken by such blows? What was Hs attitude? 
Complaint? Fault finding? Weak railing at 
his own misfortimes or the wilful wickedness of 
men? See, he rises in his place. He speaks, this 
proud young man who had refused to be a king 
and now is to die with common thieves. And 
these are his words: 


214 



THE MASTER 


Let not your heart be troubled . . , 

I have overcome the world. 

There is nothing in history so majestic! 
Already one of his disciples had slipped away 
to betray him. That very night the soldiers 
would take him, bind him, throw him into 
prison. The priests and Pharisees whom he had 
taunted would have their turn to taimt him now. 
He would be harried through the streets like a 
hunted thing, the butt of every comer loafer’s 
jest. All this he anticipated, and with the vision 
of it fresh before his mind, he lifted his head and 
looked beyond, into the far distant ages. “Be 
of good cheer,” he said to them, in tones whose 
splendor thrills us even now. “I have overcome 
the world!” 

They went out into the garden where so many 
of their happy hours had been spent. The very 
air was fragrant with their most sacred con- 
fidences. Under this tree they had gathered for 
worship, while the setting sim gilded the towers 
of the city; in the waters of that brook they had 
found refreshment; to left and right of them the 

215 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 

very stones cried out in heartrending reminder 
of the days that were gone. Even at that hour 
it was not too late for him to have saved his life. 
Suppose he had said to himself: ‘T have de- 
livered my message faithfully, and it is no use. 
Judas has gone already to bring the soldiers; 
they will be here in half an hour. Why should 
I stay and die? It is only eighteen miles to 
Jericho, bright moonlight and down hill all the 
way. Our friend Zacch«us will be glad to see 
us. We can reach his house by daylight, rest to- 
morrow, cross the Jordan and do useful work 
the rest of our lives. The disciples can fish; I 
can open a carpenter shop, and teach in a quiet 
way. I have done everything that could be ex- 
pected of me. Why not?” 

It was all perfectly possible. The rulers in 
Jerusalem would have been glad to be rid of him 
on such terms. He might so easily have con- 
tinued on down the hill to peace and a comfort- 
able old age — and oblivion. It was the last great 
temptation and decisively he dismissed it. He 
walked a little ahead in silence, followed by the 

216 



THE MASTER 


eleven — for Judas was with them no longer — 
and coming to a quiet place, left them while he 
went away for his last hour of high communion 
with his Father, God. 

A few minutes later he returned to find them 
sleeping. Even so short a vigil had proved too 
heavy for their feebleness. In the horn: of his 
greatest need there was no help from them. 
Again he went away, his spirit torn with agony. 
He was young, thirty-three ; he did not want to 
die. He cried out to God that the cup might pass 
from his lips ; that he might have time to sweep 
away the charges of blasphemy and evil which 
his enemies had heaped upon him; time to build 
up the fragile stuff of his little band on whom 
the whole future of his message must depend; 
time to round out the full measure of his years 
and influence. So he prayed, and coming back, 
found them again asleep. 

This time he did not disturb them. The high 
tide of his revolt had subsided; the courage 
which had never deserted him throughout the 
three years cleared his soul, steadied his muscles. 

217 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


“If it be not thy will that this cup pass from 
me,” he prayed again, “then, Father, thy will be 
done.” 

It was the victory chant after the battle. 
With the calm peace of the conqueror he could 
make ready for the end. He had not long to 
wait. The soldiers were already at the entrance 
of the garden. From his vantage point on the 
side of the hill he could mark the pi’ogress of 
their torches across the brook and up the path. 
The clang of their arms rang jarringly through 
the trees ; rough exclamations smote the evening 
air like profanity in a temple. He waited until 
the armed men stximbled into his presence and 
then, rising, stood before them. 

“Whom seek ye?” he demanded. 

Startled, awed, they could only mumble his 
name. 

“Jesus pf Nazareth.” 

“I am he,” he answered proudly. 

They had expected angry denunciation, per- 
haps resistance; these they imderstood and could 
cope with. But such calm, such dignity were 

218 



THE MASTER 


beyond the boundaries of their experience. In- 
voluntarily they gave way and, rough veterans 
as they were, some of them “fell to the ground.” 
It was a tribute, silent but magnificent. 

“I told you,” he repeated calmly, “that I am 
he.” And then, his thought rebounding at once 
to those who had shared his triumphs and his 
sacrifices through the years, “If therefore ye 
seek me let these others go their way.” But he 
had no need to think of the disciples’ safety. Al- 
ready they had made their swift escape — the last 
of the deserters — 

— first his home town 
— ^then his best friend 
— ^then his relatives 
— ^then the crowd 
— ^finally the eleven. 

All who had stood at his side had gone and left 
him to face his fate alone. 

On a barren hill beyond the city walls they 
nailed his perfect body to the cross. Two rob- 
bers were crucified with him. It was over. The 
rabble had sickened quickly of its revenge and 

219 



THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS 


scattered; his friends were hiding; the soldiers 
were busy casting lots for his garments. There 
was nothing left of the external influences which 
fire men’s imaginations or grip their loyalty. 
Surely the victory of his enemies was complete; 
he could do no miracle there, hanging on a cross. 

And yet — 

“Jesus.” It was the voice of one of the rob- 
bers. “Jesus,” he says painfully, “remember 
me, when thou comest into thy Mngdom!" 

Bead that, oh men, and bow your heads. You 
who have let yourself picture him as weak, as a 
man of sorrows, uninspiring, glad to die. There 
have been leaders who could call forth enthu- 
siasm when their fortunes ran high. But he, 
when his enemies had done their worst, so bore 
himself that a crucified felon looked into his dy- 
ing eyes and saluted him as king.